Preparing Children For Their First Dental Visit
Bringing your child to the dentist can have the potential to be a stressful situation. Many parents fear of how their child may react. Fortunately, there are many ways you can prepare your child for their first dentist trip. Here are a few tips to ensure a positive first experience:
- Make brushing at home interesting. Tell them you’re going to paint their teeth clean with a special paintbrush (meaning the toothbrush). Buy them fruity toothpaste, toothpaste that they will like. Let them pick out the toothpaste and toothbrush they’ll be using.
- Do not make any references to more complicated aspects of dentistry (like the crown you needed, or the terrible toothache you had once)
- Do not refer to a negative experience that you may have had regarding dentistry. Fear is a learned response and the way your child reacts to the dental appointment can be greatly influenced by how you prepare your child at home. Children are very intelligent and observant and can sense parental emotion in many ways.
- Refrain from offering rewards or bribes for good behavior
Our office is geared towards making your child comfortable and knowledgeable about good oral hygiene. All your child needs to know for the first visit is that they going to have their teeth counted and receive a new toothbrush and surprises. Usually, the first visit consists of parent education and the child having his/her teeth counted (examined). This insures that the child has a fun and easy experience, finishing with the receipt of a new toothbrush, stickers, and prizes. On the second visit we introduce the electric toothbrush (polisher), floss, and vitamins (topical fluoride treatment). As far as pictures (radiographs) are concerned, we generally decide together when they are required.
Like many things, preparation for something is just as important as the actual experience. We encourage parents to prepare their children for the first dental visit in a positive way!