So your child has just had his or her first teeth starting to come through. Shortly after this is usually a good time to take them to the dentist for their first dental visit.
But before you do this, you need to take care of some homework in order to prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist. Here are a few ways to do this and make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved.
1. Finding The Best Dentist
While you may want to locate a specialised dentist for children, you may not have to. In fact, a children’s dentist may not necessarily be required. For example, if your dentist is someone you have seen for regular check-ups over the past several years, start there. It may be that your regular dentist is the perfect option for your child that you are already comfortable with.
It’s possible that you’ve even had your child in the dental office with you, so they will also feel a sense of comfort in a place they are familiar with.
However, if your child needs specialized care, or may be more anxious than usual, then it may be best to see a specialized pediatric dentist.If this is the case, discuss this with your dentist, as he or she will be able to recommend a good dentist for your child.
2. Prepare Your Child
You have a dental appointment scheduled for your child in the next month so now you have to start talking about it with them. Great ways to introduce dental matters to a child is through means they are already comfortable with. For example, if you have a regular reading time with your child, introduce a book on visiting the dentist.
There are several aimed at this very purpose and the children’s dental office may be able to suggest a few titles. Also, encourage dental playtime. In other words, start playing dentist with your child, discussing the importance of brushing teeth, seeing a dentist and other related topics to bring the subject into regular conversation.
3. Set A Good Example
By now your child should have seen you brushing and flossing your own teeth, provided you actually do have a good dental hygiene routine.
Even if you are not a regular flosser, now is the time to start doing it in front of your child. They will begin to see you doing it and will want to mimic the actions which will lead to questions. These moments will allow you to explain the importance of taking care of your teeth.
4. The Dental Visit
Dentists who work with kids generally know what to expect from children during their first dental visit, so they are prepared. You will be welcomed into the examination room to accompany your child and immediately you will discover a huge difference between your dental visit and your child’s. The dentist will make the visit short and try to be playful during it.
One usual game that will be played is counting teeth. As the dentist counts them off aloud, he or she are actually examining your child’s teeth and mouth but are using a counting game as a form of distraction. It usually works extremely well. There will be a reward of some kind for your child following the examination.
These activities are meant to keep your child from becoming fearful and even the tools and instruments used are kid-friendly. A scanning wand can be used to take digital impressions of teeth instead of the traditional methods. There are also laser tools that remove even more anxiety from young patients who fear the sound of a dental drill.
The Best Way To Prepare Your Child
The best way for your child to have a good experience during their first visit to see the dentist is to keep it light and relaxed. If the dentist turns the visit into a fun game, follow their lead.
Be sure to discuss the visit with your child afterwards and schedule additional appointments as recommended by your dentist.
Your child will pick up on how you react and if you enjoyed the visit, they should too and will be more comfortable when seeing their dentist again.
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