Is your child about to visit the dentist for the first time? Or, do they tend to have a meltdown before dental appointments? Here are six tips to help prepare your child for a visit to your family dentist:
- Visit a family-friendly dentist: Like doing your homework to find a handyman or babysitter, you need to research dental offices in your area that specialize in pediatric dentistry, or at least have friendly dentists on staff. Once you find a dentist, ask if you and your child can tour their office. This gives kids the opportunity to see where they will be getting their teeth cleaned and meet the staff. Observe how comfortable and relaxed they seem in the environment. If all seems well, schedule a dental cleaning.
- Talk to your child about dental visits: New things and people can scare young children. So, before taking your child to their dental appointment, take the time to talk to them about what will happen. Use books, toys and even phone apps to help you get your child excited about visiting the dentist. Picture books are great educational tools, and popular dental apps teach kids about common dental procedures, such as losing baby teeth, dental cleanings, exams, x-rays and getting fillings.
- Answer all their questions: Another fantastic way to prepare your child for the dental chair is to answer all their questions as honestly and as best you can. If he or she exhibits anxiety, don’t dismiss it—listen to their fears so you can help lower their anxiety in preparation for their dental checkup.
- Show your kids it’s not scary: As a parent, you know the importance of leading by example. When you have a dental appointment to go to, do you seem nervous and dictate out loud that you don’t want to get your teeth cleaned? If you’re nervous, then your child will probably feel the same way when it’s their turn. To help them understand that their dentist is a friend who wants to keep their teeth healthy and strong, take them with you to your cleaning appointments. He or she will get to see that the dentist is nice and only wants to make sure you go home with a beautiful, healthy smile.
- Bring your child’s favorite toy: Most children have a favorite toy that makes them feel safe—bring that toy with you to the dentist. That toy, blanket or other item can be the comfort they need when they’re in a situation that makes them nervous or anxious.
- Arrive early: Plan on leaving the house earlier than you need to in order to prevent rushing. Running late will cause you to become tense and get frustrated, which can all project onto your child. By getting to the dental office earlier than the appointment time, your child will have the opportunity to explore and familiarize themselves with the office and staff—and it helps them avoid going from the car directly into the exam chair.
Call the team at Modern Smiles Family Dentistry today to schedule a cleaning with a friendly family dentist!
Categorised in: Family Dentist