How to Prepare for Your Child's First Dental Visit

If you're a parent, you know that instilling good hygienic habits is important for raising a happy and healthy kid. With the start of the New Year still fresh in your mind, why not begin on the right foot by taking your child to visit a pediatric dentist for the first time? Here are some suggestions about what to ask, do, and remember as you prepare your child to step into a dental office.

Get Yourself (and Your Child) Acquainted with the Dentist

This is actually a very important step, but one that parents tend to bypass. They may prefer to think about other factors, such as the location, price, and availability of the dentist. Yet considering how your child will react to and connect with the pediatric dentist is just as, if not more, important.

Therefore, it can be beneficial to schedule an "acquainting" session before deciding on a dentist. This will allow you, the dentist, and your child to get to know each other and ask some questions. In addition, you and your little one can check out the facilities.

Get Your Child Excited

The dentist's office can be a scary place for adults, so just imagine how your child might be feeling! The good news is that children often pick up on the emotions and feelings of their parents, so if you adopt a positive and enthusiastic attitude, your child is likely to do the same. Why not try focusing your dental vocabulary on more positive words, such as "clean," "shiny," and "bright," rather than words like "scary" and "hurt"? You can also try reading positive stories about characters who go to the dentist.

Offer Some Different Options

This tip will really help your child to feel calm and that they have some control over their dental situation. Adults know that they usually can't let small children make major decisions for themselves, but try to give your son or daughter at least some liberty while at the dentist's office. This can be as simple as asking your youngster where he or she wants to sit in the waiting room or which color toothbrush the child prefers.

Use the Buddy System

Your child probably has a favorite item, such as a blanket, stuffed animal, or toy. Be sure to bring this object along so that your son or daughter feels more comfortable. If nothing else, a teddy bear or blankie could be a nice distraction from the unfamiliar surroundings of the dental office.

Start your search for a pediatric dentist by contacting an office like Brit E. Bowers, DDS and asking for a tour.