Posted on December 7, 2021
Are you a parent of a child about to undergo their first dental visit? If so, you’re not alone. Almost every child will need to see a pediatric dentist for one reason or another. The good news is that although these visits can be scary for both parents and children, there are plenty of ways to prepare your child ahead of time. Here are some tips that may help take some stress off this upcoming experience.
The night before your child’s visit, remind them that they will see the pediatric dentist in the morning. Let them know that the dentist will help keep their teeth healthy and strong, just like a doctor would help keep their body healthy and strong. If you have kids younger than six, you can also involve them in the preparations by having them pick out clothes they can wear to the appointment. This way, when they wake up in the morning, it will be like any other day, and you won’t have your child throwing a tantrum before their visit because they don’t want to go.
When you arrive at the office, make sure your child is familiar with where they’re going. Take the time to show them around and explain what will happen during their appointment. You can also let them know that this is one of many future visits they will have to a pediatric dentist before everything is said and done.
During the exam, it’s important to make sure your child feels comfortable. Some kids are afraid of having their teeth checked, so you can let them know up-front that there may be some poking and prodding involved in the process. After explaining what will happen, ask them if they feel okay about everything or if they would like to lie on the chair themselves. This will allow them to feel like it’s their decision and avoid unnecessary crying.
Although the pediatric dentist probably won’t be able to do anything for your child if they are in a state of panic, try your hardest to keep them calm (and yourself too). If you act nervous or uncomfortable, your child will pick up on that and feel the same way. If you’re having a hard time keeping them quiet, try singing a song together to change their state of mind.
According to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, 51 million school hours are lost annually because of a dental-health problem. This is part of the reason why your child should see a pediatric dentist when they are still very young, i.e., when their first baby teeth arrive. The earlier you take them for a visit, the more comfortable they will be in the future. This is because kids up to age six are generally very open to people, places, and things.
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