Your Child’s first visit to the dentist can set the tone for how they feel about having to go back to the dentist time and time again. Therefore, it’s important that your child forms a comfortable relationship with his or her dentist on the initial meeting. There are several steps you can take to ensure a relaxed and comfortable experience for you and your child during this exciting first step.
Finding the Right Dentist
Dental offices can be a scary place for a child. There are strange noises, odd smells, and scary looking tools. The dentist is often a stranger to your child. He or she may be wearing a hospital mask and will be up close to their face. A dentist that specializes in children will understand your child’s anxieties and fears, and can help alleviate them.
Choosing a family dentistry office, such as Kirkland Family Dentistry, can help your child feel more comfortable about their first visit to the dentist.
Before the First Visit to the Dentist
Before taking your child for their first visit, you can set the scene for what it will be like. Talk to them about what they should expect in a language they will understand. Make it as simple as possible. Use positive words and expressions. Talk about how the dentist will look in their mouth to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy.
Reading books to them or showing them picture books about dentists is another great way to help them to understand what a dentist visit will be like. Your dentist office may have coloring books, pamphlets or pages to color for your child about what a dental office is like.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Dentists recommend a child’s first examine should be by the age of one or within six months of their first tooth falling out. Your child’s first visit will usually be short with very little treatment.
For this appointment, the dentist may have you sit in the chair before your child does to show them it’s not scary. They may also have you sit in the chair and hold your child during the visit, although some dentists require the parents to sit in the waiting room during the child’s appointment. This is to help the dentist and child establish a comfortable relationship.
During the visit, the dentist will examine your child’s existing teeth for any decay, the gums for any problems with oral tissues, and clean the teeth if necessary. They will also examine your child’s bite to look for any problems in his or her jaw.
First Dental Visit as the Parent
Having to take your child to the dentist can also be difficult for you. Taking these steps to prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist can also help you to relieve your anxieties as well as theirs.
Please contact us should you have any further questions regarding your child’s first dental visit.