The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday. This early visit helps familiarize the child with the dental office environment.
Some children may be nervous about seeing the dentist because they don’t know what to expect, so it helps to be upfront and honest with them about what a visit to the pediatric dentist will be like. If a child knows that the first visit will include an exam and cleaning, that child may be less stressed or fearful about the upcoming appointment.
The earlier you tell a child what to expect at their pediatric dentist appointment, the better. A great way to introduce the dentist and the office is by showing them a video or virtual tour prior to their appointment. This way, the child will feel more confident when entering their appointment and look forward to meeting the dentist.
By introducing your child to the dentist early on, they will feel comfortable and even look forward to visiting the dentist. This will make it so that future appointments are much easier for both parent and child.
Help your child know what to expect by breaking it down into smaller steps. They may not need to go through all the steps, but giving them an idea of what to expect may help ease their nerves. Talk about each step of the visit before they leave home, so they’ll know what they’ll need to do once they get to the office. For example, let them know that they’ll need to remove their shoes and put on a gown before getting into the chair. They may also need to take off any jewelry or metal objects such as hair clips. They may need to use the bathroom before the dentist begins the exam and cleaning, so be sure to remind them to go beforehand.
If your dentist offers sedation dentistry services, be sure to talk to your child about what type of sedation they may use during the appointment. Let them know what it feels like, how long it will last and how they’ll need to recover at home after the procedure. This will help them prepare mentally for a visit so they know what to expect when they wake up.
If your child is nervous about getting their teeth cleaned, ask them to take a look at the dental office ahead of time. Take them through the office and let them see the exam room and the area where you’ll sit while they get their cleaning done.
After their first appointment, talk with your child about how it went and ask them if they were nervous or scared. Reward them for doing a good job if they acted calmly and made the dentist feel comfortable. Continue talking about dental care with them so they can become comfortable with going to the dentist regularly and learn how to care for their own teeth.
Visit We C Kids at 10643 Valley Blvd Suite A/B, El Monte, CA 91731, for more tips. Contact us at (626) 628-2424 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.