Many kids are a bit unsure and nervous about going to the dentist. Sometimes, kids are even afraid to go to the dentist. “We’re going to the dentist,” is rarely a phrase that makes your kids particularly happy. To help both you and your child feel more comfortable about visiting our pediatric dentist, here are six tips to help prepare you for their first dentist visit.
If you are in Las Vegas or Henderson, Anthem Pediatric Dentistry is here for you. We pride ourselves on providing dentistry for children in a comfortable, convenient environment. The moment you walk through our door, you will notice how inviting, modern, clean, and child-friendly (i.e., fun!) our practice is! If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today!
Prepare Your Child for Their First Dentist Visit
How do you give your kids an early, tears-free start to good oral health?
#1: Start Dental Hygiene Young
If you want your kid’s first dentist appointment to go smoothly, the better oral hygiene they have, the easier a time it will be for all. It’s never too early to get them practicing healthy mouth cleaning habits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends children have their first dentist appointment by the time they turn one year old. Before then, the use of soft toothbrushes and toothpaste for infants will help keep their teeth healthy. An early visit to the dentist will also provide parents with helpful information about brushing properly, good foods to eat, and how to potentially spot any problem areas, and fix them, before they get worse. The earlier a child sees a dentist, the more likely they are to avoid any serious dental issues.
#2: Set a Positive Tone
Children are very good at picking up on your feelings. If you have negative feelings about the dentist office because of some past root canal you had taken care of, try and put those memories aside and focus on building a positive, excited attitude for your child. If you are enthusiastic about the trip, they are much more likely to feel comfortable at the dentist office. You don’t have to be thrilled, but an upbeat attitude goes a long way. You can also bring along their blankie or stuffed animal to give them extra comfort and moral support.
#3: Have a Pretend Dentist Visit at Home
Kids learn a lot by playing games. You can teach them what to expect at a dentist visit by making a game of it at home before their first appointment. This way, they will have a better idea about what to expect and not feel threatened or afraid. Count their teeth, hold up a mirror and let them seem, and teach them to brush their stuffed animal’s “teeth” to make sure they stay healthy and clean. A game like this will prepare them for visiting our pediatric dentist office.
#4: Timing is Everything
Try and schedule your child’s dental appointment at a time when they will be rested, comfortable, and in a good mood. Avoid bringing them in when they are hungry or tired, as that increases the odds that they experience heightened anxiety about the appointment. Also, try and arrive early so your child has time to play with the toys in the waiting room and get more comfortable in the environment.
#5: Make a Pre-Appointment Meeting
One of the most effective ways to ensure that your child is not overly anxious or scared during their first dentist appointment is to come by sometime beforehand to introduce them to the dentist and the environment. This way, when it comes time for their appointment, they have had time to digest this information and feel less anxiety and doubt about the experience. Simply going to the dentist before your visit can make a huge difference! Our staff here at Anthem Pediatric Dentistry in Las Vegas and Henderson would be thrilled to have a quick meet and greet with you and your child before your appointment, as we understand from experience that this is one of the best ways to make them feel comfortable visiting the dentist and build a good relationship with their oral hygiene for years to come!
#6: Prepare for Fussing
As a parent, you know that, despite your best efforts, your child may still get anxious, act up, or begin fussing at the dentist’s office. This is totally normal! Our team has dealt with this many times; little tantrums are common occurrences here at our pediatric dentist’s office. If this happens, our staff has ways of helping alleviate their anxiety and take some stress off of your shoulders as well.
Be Prepared for Your Child’s First Pediatric Dentist Visit
We hope this article has given you some ideas for better preparing your child for their first visit to the dentist. It can cause both them and you a bit of anxiety, but with a little planning, preparation, and positive expectations, you can dramatically reduce the chances that they feel afraid or uncomfortable about the experience. As a parent, you have plenty enough to worry about without a visit to the dentist added to your plate! If you would like to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment with Anthem Pediatric Dentistry, reach out to us today!