As a parent, you will go through all kinds of firsts with your child. Some of these will be exciting and happy moments, whereas others can be the cause of stress and even anxiety in both you and your child. One of those firsts that can go either way is your child’s first trip to the dentist. Let’s face it, no-one looks forward to going to the dentist but getting your child off to a positive start and encouraging their dental health is something that will benefit them in life.
So, as you prepare to take them for that all-important first dentist visit, here are some tips you can use that can help ensure things go smoothly.
Pick a Dentist that the Whole Family Can Use
Rather than having a dentist for you, for your significant other, and then a different one for your child, it’s best to pick a convenient dentist for your entire family. This gives you a chance to get to know the dentist office better and just makes things easier as far as logistics go. When searching for that perfect dentist, look for one that specializes in family dentistry and ask if they have experience in dealing with kids. Some offices will be better equipped than others to handle young patients.
Make Sure You Take Them at the Right Time
Another thing to be aware of is the “right” time for that first dentist visit. Some parents may believe it’s not necessary until the toddler years, but experts recommend that they see the dentist about six months after their first tooth comes in, or by the time they turn one. If you’re well past this point, then it’s definitely time to schedule that first visit.
Discuss What the Appointment will Involve
This tip becomes more important the older the child is, but discussing what they can expect in advance of the appointment can help to make things go much smoother. You can talk about such things as the fact they will sit in a special chair that leans back, the dentist will use a light, mirror, and tools to look in their mouth, they will need to open up wide, etc.
Write Down Any Questions You May Have
It’s a good idea to also write down any questions you may have for the dentist. While you’re there, it’s easy to forget in the moment, so having a list to refer to can be really handy.
Have the Dentist Go Over the Proper Teeth Brushing Techniques
Another tip is to have the dentist go over the proper steps and techniques for teeth brushing for your little one. If your child is a bit older, in the toddler years, they will also be able to listen and learn. The dentist may even have a model that they can show kids proper teeth brushing on.
Stay Positive at All Times
Remember your child will be looking to you for cues on how to act, so if you keep a positive attitude throughout they will understand that it’s no big deal at all.