Going to the dentist for the first time can be intimidating for anyone, let alone a child.
Adults are used to the process by now, but you have to admit that the idea of what happens when you go to the dentist can sound pretty scary, especially if you’re young and you’ve never actually gone through it before yourself. You’re lying in a chair, mouth open, vulnerable, while a masked person works on one of the most sensitive parts of your body with a set of metal picks and needles… scary, indeed!
But, there are ways to decrease the stress that this visit may put on children. Here are 5 ways you can prepare your child for their first dental visit so that they have the best experience possible.
1. Find the Right Dentist
There’s a good chance that you’re planning on taking your child to the dentist that you always go to, but that might not be the right call.
Seek out a dentist in your area that specializes in pediatric or family dentistry. These dentists are better at communicating with kids and making them feel relaxed in uncomfortable situations than dentists who usually treat adults.
2. Use Story Time to Introduce Them to the Importance of Going to the Dentist
There are a number of children’s books that address the issue of going to the dentist, including The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist and Barney Goes to the Dentist. These books provide a little mental prep for your kids that should stop them from getting too anxious at the dentist.
3. Be a Good Role Model and Instill Healthy Dental Hygiene Practices
Check-ups are scary enough for a young child, but at least they don’t involve any needles. If your child has a cavity, that’s going to require a needle, and a Novocain shot dials the tension up to a whole new level.
So, be a good role model – brush and floss twice a day and keep the sugary foods in your diet to a minimum. Setting the example will help your kids do the same, which, in turn, will help them prevent cavities.
Also, we’re aware that fear of the dentist is not limited to children. The thought of going to the dentist might make you anxious as well. If so, do your best to hide that fact from your children. Your fear will just make them even more afraid.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about dental check-ups, fillings, or any of our other services.