Everyone would like a successful first visit for their child at the dentist because we all know what happens when it doesn’t go so well. FEAR and ANXIETY. (And not just on the child) And this fear can last for decades and will remain for other dental visits in the future. That is the direction we all DO NOT wish on anyone or our worst enemy. So let’s turn this around with these top 7 helpful points to know before a child has his first dental visit. Being forewarned is forearmed for a successful visit not only for now but for years to come.
Top Seven Lists
- Make brushing your child’s teeth fun at home. Modeling is a great way to show this is a part of life, just like brushing your hair and eating your cereal in the morning. (I will have more info on when a child does not need assistance from mom or dad)
- Please, Please, Please! Do not make going to the dentist as a punishment for not brushing their teeth or saying that if you don’t brush them that they will fall out. (I have over heard this about a thousand times. (This creates great anxieties)
- Usually the first kid dental cleaning is at 3 years old when they have all 20 teeth and are mature enough for the dental chair. But you can introduce your child to the dentist for a visual check-up when they are younger. They may feel more comfortable being in the adult’s lap for the examination. (you will determine this)
- Another modeling tip is to bring them to your own dental cleaning to see you get your teeth clean. I would call ahead to the office to see if this is possible and the right time. There is nothing worse than having your child in the dental office and someone else in another room is not being a “Happy Camper”.
- Even though you are great with your dentist does not mean it would be great experience for your kid’s first dental visit. A good pediatric dentist is a great starting point for your child and when they get older you can integrate them into a dentist who takes care of adults.
- On the trip going to the dental visit and at the office, please, please, please try to not show your own anxieties. A kid will always sense when a parent is not comfortable in any situation and they will definitely feed-off of it. So many times I have seen parents come in the office looking like a “deer caught in the headlights” and the child is “wired for sound”.
- Read a book about a kid’s visit dental visit. When I started out working in children’s dentistry, there were so many inquiries for a book that explains what actually goes on for a child’s first dental visit. Now I have fulfilled that request with my book, “My First Dental Visit: A New Perspective”. Great for the first dental visit and cleaning visit/ Also available for their first dental filling, my book “My First Dental Filling: A New Perspective” There are no other books like these because it was written from a dental perspective for parents. Both books are also available as e-books.
So there you have it. Instructions that will help your kid for their first dental visit. You can only do your best and accept that nothing is perfect. Just roll with the punches and know that you are the best thing this child has in their life.
I thank you for taking this step for your child.
Also available for a child’s First Dental Filling: