How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit?
A child’s first visit to the dentist is almost as important for parents as it is for the child.
As a parent, it’s all right for you to be nervous about your kids first visit to the pediatric dentist. That being said, there is no fixed guide to help you prepare your child for their first dental visit. But as parents, it’s normal to feel like you need to prepare them. Moreover, some children develop dental phobia early on, and it would be helpful to take as many precautions as you can.
That’s where we come in. We drafted a little cheat sheet to help you prepare your child for their first dental visit.
Time of Appointment
Children are generally fresher in the morning than during midday. Hence, you should try to secure a morning appointment. It is also beneficial because, in the morning, there’s relatively less rush at the doctor’s office. Your child needs to spend enough time with the dentist to build a healthy rapport with them.
If you’re taking an older child, a preschooler or special kids to the dentist for their first visit, then you should explain to them why it’s essential to go to the dentist. By telling them what to expect, you can reinstate a feeling of security that would help them through their fear of loss of control.
Don’t forget to ask your pediatric dentists questions.
The chances are that your dentist is already aware that you’re anxious about your child’s first appointment. They’re empathetic, and you must develop the habit of asking them anything you’re doubtful about. Remember to ask them about proper hygiene, oral habits, teething, developmental milestones, etc.
3. Talk to the pediatric dentist beforehand
Both your pediatric dentists and your child are meeting each other for the first time. It means that your dentist doesn’t know anything about your child’s habits. Learn your child’s behavior so that you can help them have a safe exposure to dental hygiene.
For example, do they tend to get scared? Do they have an aversion to touch? It’s important to let the dentist know all of these things because it will help them plan your child’s visit accordingly.
However, please note that several anxiety-prone behaviors are a result of the child’s age. For instance, at the age of ten to twenty-four months, some children get scared when they get separated from their parents for examination. This is called separation anxiety which is a part of our dental care system for children at Little Pearls dental clinic, and it’s prevalent in older children who undergo Orthodontic treatment as well.
At the age of two, a child may say “no” to being taken away. It’s also common for three-year-old children to present an objection to being whisked away from their parents. However, remember that mostly this is because they don’t feel socially capable of handling interactions with people they don’t see often.
If you notice that your child is not open to sitting in dental exam rooms alone, they may have a dental phobia. Upon observing this, we strongly suggest that you talk to the dentist and devise your plan of action. Some children also benefit from talking to a licensed therapist about their fears regarding pediatric dentistry.
Firsts are scary when you’re responsible for the upbringing of an individual. We hope that this helps you prepare your child for their first dental visit.