Is your child about to take their first trip to the dentist?
Let's face it, the dentist can be a scary place for a child. It's a new environment with new people. And these new strangers are going to poke and prod at your mouth? No thanks.
But, while we'll admit a trip to the dentist is definitely no trip to Disneyland, it doesn't have to be scary or dreadful. In fact, your child may actually end up enjoying their trip to the dentist.
But, in order for your children to enjoy themselves, you first need to make sure they're prepared.
Read on to learn how to prepare your child for their first dental visit.
1. Teach Children About Their Teeth
Children are little sponges and any new information you teach them they will soak up.
A good way to calm their nerves before their first visit to the dentist is to teach them all about their teeth and their oral health.
Start having conversations with your child about healthy habits for their teeth and how they can take better care of them. Even for really young children, simply having them identify where the teeth and tongue are can make a difference.
You can use fun activities to teach your child about their mouths, such as sing-alongs, craft projects, poems, and books.
If your child has an older sibling, you can also use them to help. Have your children brush their teeth together. You can have them brush to songs, use coloured toothpaste, etc.
Whatever you can do to make teeth seem more fun, the better!
2. Take Them With You
One of the best ways you can prepare your child for their first dental visit is by taking them with you to yours.
This will not only help them get acquainted with their new environment, but it will also help show them the dentist is not so scary after all.
When you take your child with you, make sure to show them around and introduce them to the dentists and office workers you come in contact with. Make sure you are smiling plenty and have a happy attitude.
If your child sees you having fun at the dentist, they will see no reason for them not to have fun either!
3. Tell Them What to Expect at Their First Dental Visit
Telling your child what to expect at their first appointment can help eliminate any scary surprises.
Usually, the first appointment involves the dentist explaining the importance of having clean teeth. They will do this using different visuals, such as oversized teeth. Sometimes, the dentists will count their teeth and give them a simple cleaning and brushing.
You may be allowed into the dentist's room, or you may be asked to wait outside in the lobby. Make sure your child is prepared for both. However, it's a good idea to let them go in alone, as this encourages independence.
It can be a good idea to call your dentist beforehand so you know exactly what will happen that first appointment. Then, you can tell your child everything they have to look forward to.
Now They're Ready!
Follow these steps, and your child should be good and ready for their first dental visit.
If you have any questions about taking your child to the dentist, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.