As your children grow up, you eagerly marked each developmental milestone from their first smile, first tooth, first steps and first birthday. Another critical milestone in your child’s lifetime is his/her first dental visit. Children tend to not fear the dentist during their initial encounters and only learn fear either through an unpleasant dental procedure or, more likely, through the fear projected by their parents. Therefore, follow the three steps below for getting your child ready for their first dental visit and it will be a successful one:
- Select a kid-friendly dentist’s office like Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry
- Demonstrate good oral hygiene
- Discuss the visit ahead of time with a positive attitude
Select a kid-friendly dentist
In old movies and TV shows, the popular depiction of a dentist is one that enjoys inflicting pain on their patients. While that is a popular misconception, it is true that not all dentists have both the patience and a good ‘bedside manner’ to maintain their good humor when faced with a squirming or talkative child.
When going through the process of selecting a dentist for your child’s first visit, ask to meet the dentist ahead of time to ensure that he/she has a set of established strategies for making the visit an enjoyable experience. The dentist should have experience in pediatric dental services and have an office environment that doesn’t remind someone of the DMV.
Demonstrate Good Oral Hygiene
This step falls under the header of “practice what you preach”. If you want your children to brush and floss their teeth as part of a daily routine, make sure that they see you doing it as well. Schedule semi-annual or annual dental checkups and have your child watch as you get a checkup.
Discuss the Visit Positively Ahead of Time
Children are very perceptive and are often mimic the attitudes and behaviors of adults around them. Talk to your children a few days before their first dental visit in a very positive and relaxed manner. Describing the visit to a dentist as a quasi-game to your child (“Let’s play count your teeth”) will have your child view the upcoming visit with anticipation rather than dread.
Following these steps to get your child ready for their first dental visit can make this occasion both a pleasant and memorable one.