Your child’s first visit to the dentist will influence how your child views going to the dentist for years to come, so it’s crucially important to take a few key steps on that first visit. One way to help ease your child’s worries about the dentist is to accompany your child on his or her first visit. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you accompany your child on a visit to the dentist.
Talk about the visit positively.
Much of how your child feels about that first dental visit will be shaped by how you talk about it. Before accompanying your child on his or her dentist visit, talk about the positive aspects of visiting the dentist, and remind your child that going to the dentist is a sign that he or she is growing up.
While you’ll want to be reassuring as you walk your child through the first dentist visit, it’s also possible to be too reassuring. If you are constantly reminding your child that the visit will be easy and painless, for example, this might make your child feel that there is something to be worried about. The calmer you are throughout the visit, the more likely your child is to remain calm as well.
Know what to expect.
A child’s first visit to the dentist will have any variety of components, depending on your child’s age and particular needs. You can typically expect for your child to undergo a complete mouth examination, a brief cleaning, and a recording of your child’s medical and dental history. In addition, your child might need an X-ray examination or fluoride treatment. Our staff will also be prepared to discuss important oral health topics with you, such as how to care for children’s teeth, proper flossing technique, and what might put your child at risk for developing cavities.
Don’t stop the visit.
While your child may remain uncooperative, it’s best to remain as committed to a successful visit as possible. Stopping a dentist visit midway through will only solidify a negative experience, and it might influence how your child navigates stressful visits to the dentist in the future. Our staff are highly skilled at helping children feel comfortable, and even if to you things don’t seem to be going well, chances are that your child’s visit can still be a successful one.