How to Talk to Your Child about the First Trip to the Dentist
Your child’s first dental visit can be an anxious and scary experience. It’s important to prepare them for the visit but also to teach them how important good oral care is. Explain to them that the dentist is their friend, who protects their mouth against dangers. Here is a look at some tips and advice for how to talk to your child about their first dentist visit and alleviate their fear and worry.
When to Go
It may be surprising, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child’s first dentist visit should be by their first birthday. This is especially true if your child has risks for cavities like a genetic predisposition (hint: are you especially cavity-prone? Your child may be as well!).
An early visit to the dentist can educate you on whether or not your child is at risk for early childhood cavities. It can also teach you such things as how to care for your infant’s mouth, how to properly use fluoride, reducing oral habits like thumb sucking, accident prevention and the milestones involved with teething and oral development.
Set an Example
One of the best ways to reduce your child’s fear of the dentist is to set an example. If you avoid going to the dentist, if you display fear or anxiety about the process, so will your child. Let your child see that you look forward to the dentist and they will as well.
Remember, children emulate their parents! If they see that you understand the importance of dental visits and they see how brave you are when you go, they will try to be the same way. This early experience will set a lifelong habit.
Let your kids know that even if it’s uncomfortable, the first dentist visit will only last a short time and it’s important to keep healthy. Be a strong presence who is there for your kids, but let the dentist build a rapport with the child and explain to them what is going to happen. Don’t show concern or worry. Be confident and secure, and your child will be comforted.
If you are ready to take your child to their first dentist visit, we are ready to provide first class service. Take a look at our first dental visit informational page and give us a call to set your appointment today!