7 Tips for Your Child’s First Pediatric Dentist Visit
Dental fear and anxiety affect about 9% of children between the ages of seven and nine and is one of the biggest challenges in pediatric dentistry. If you are taking your child to the dentist for the first time, you may worry about how they will react.
Learning how to prepare for your child’s first pediatric dentist visit properly can help reduce this anxiety and keep them comfortable during their oral care.
Do you want to learn more about your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentistry clinic? Keep reading this article for the top seven tips to follow to prepare for a dentist visit.
1. Set a Good Example
Setting a good example is one of the most important things you can do to help your child feel comfortable at the dentist. As a parent, you can project your fears onto your child without even realizing it.
Even if you are nervous about going to the dentist, you should set a good example and model good behavior when you go to the dentist. Make sure you don’t show your fear of the dentist to your children!
You can also discuss proper behavior with your children to encourage them to be on their best behavior while at their dentist’s visit.
2. Start Early
Next, you must start early when it comes to your child’s oral care and oral health. It is best to visit the dentist at an early age to ensure that your child is familiar with the process from a young age.
When your child grows up going to the dentist, it will feel more normal and less scary in the future.
This is also essential, as it will teach your child how to care for their oral health and can help them establish healthy oral habits. If you are wondering when to visit the dentist for the first time, it is recommended that it should take place no later than your child’s first birthday.
Being proactive can help your child prevent cavities and can even reduce dental anxiety.
3. Discuss the Appointment
If your child is worried about their dental appointment, you must regularly discuss what they can expect leading up to the appointment. Many children may not know what will happen at a dentist visit or may have heard scary stories from children their age.
However, you can teach your child about why it is important to visit the dentist, what will happen at the appointment, and more. Make sure you answer your child’s questions about the dentist as honestly as you can.
You can also help your child feel prepared for their appointment by playing pretend dentist. This can help them become familiar with the process and will make them feel more comfortable when someone else touches their teeth.
Lastly, you can take your child to tour the dentist’s office before their appointment. This way, they will be familiar with the sights and smells that are at a dentist’s office.
4. Make It Educational
Making the visit educational can help your child understand the importance of dental care. Children often have many questions about everything they experience, so discussing their questions and other interesting facts bout teeth can keep your child at ease.
They may want to learn how the dentist will clean their teeth, why they need to visit the dentist, and more.
Making it an educational visit can help your child feel excited about their upcoming appointment.
5. Bring Moral Support
You can also bring extra moral support to reduce your child’s worries at their dentist appointment. Whether they have a favorite toy or stuffed animal, having a familiar item can help them feel safe in an unfamiliar situation.
Similarly, you should stay with your child throughout the entire appointment to help them feel safe and protected.
6. Plan a Reward
If your child is hesitant about visiting a dentist, you may want to plan a reward for after their visit. This way, they will have something to look forward to once the appointment is over and will take the focus off of their actual dentist visit.
You may want to take your child to pick out a toy after their dentist appointment. You can also take them to get their favorite food for lunch after your appointment!
Having this type of reward to look forward to will give your child an incentive to be on their best behavior during their appointment.
7. Find a Specialized Pediatric Dentist
Finally, you may want to find a dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry. A pediatric dentist will have an office designed for children to help them feel more comfortable during their appointments.
For example, they may have children’s toys, books, or movies playing in the waiting room.
A pediatric dentist also knows the best ways to interact with children and can help them feel more comfortable throughout the entire appointment. They will answer your child’s questions and can help keep them distracted throughout the appointment.
Need Help Preparing for a Dentist Visit? Find a Pediatric Dentistry Clinic Today
When you are preparing for your child’s first dentist visit, there are many things you can do to make it more comfortable and less stressful for your child. Following each of these tips can help your child feel prepared for their dentist visit!
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Utah, Burg Children’s Dentistry can help! We specialize in pediatric dentistry and provide everything from dental exams and cleanings to orthodontics and more.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child’s dental care!