Taking care of your child’s teeth is more than just brushing and flossing. For complete care, it is advised that everyone, including children, should visit their dentist every six months for regular check-up or professional cleaning. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first visit of children is before they turn one year old or at least six months after their first tooth pops in.
Early appointments to your pediatric dentist are necessary to ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and will develop correctly. Another significant benefit is that going to the dentist at a young age lets them be comfortable and instills a habit of regular visits.
Here are some ways to help prepare your child to their first dental visit:
1. Get Excited
Research shows that parents can pass on their fear or anxiety to their children. If you are not a fan of the dentist, be careful not to relate those fear to your child. Always talk about the dentist positively, such as telling your child that a friendly dentist will be counting their teeth and teaching them how to keep it strong and healthy. When it’s the day of the visit, keep things upbeat, and try your best to appear excited.
2. Watch Videos or Read Books About Going to the Dentist
Seeing your kids’ favorite cartoon character going to a dentist is a big help. They are usually very excited, and it affects your child’s eagerness as well. Preparing your child for the dentist this way will give them an idea of what’s going to happen, and the new situation will less likely to be scary anymore.
3. Role Play Dentist and Patient at Home
Playing games with your kids is always a good idea. Try role-playing with your children by being the dentist and counting their teeth. Talk through what you are doing and explain the importance of oral hygiene. Then, let your child be a dentist to his or her favorite stuffed toy. Role-plays are an effective way to prepare your child and help them get excited on their first visit.
4. Choose a Happy Appointment Time
This one is not necessary but helpful to keep tantrums at bay. Try to book your child’s appointment at a time that suits them best when your child is usually happy, attentive, and cooperative. Younger children should be scheduled in the morning while for older kids, try early afternoon. Most of the time, after a nap or meal, it works well. Furthermore, avoid taking late afternoon appointments on their first visit because kids are mostly tired, which may impact their response to the new situation.
5. Find a Reliable Pediatric Dentist
There’s a difference between a general dentist and pediatric dentist. Make sure that your children go to a pediatric dentist because they complete specialty training after graduating from dental school. They have extensive learning about child development and psychology as well as treating those growing smiles.
The very first step in this process is finding a dentist to whom you feel comfortable. Setting a precedent dental appointment at an early age helps children become accustomed to a proper oral care routine.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.