Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

Many parents feel anxiety and stress over the thought of their child’s first visit to a dentist. Introducing your child to a dental provider for the first time needs to be a positive experience as your child will need to visit a professional for check-ups and cleanings regularly throughout his or her life. Once you have gotten your child over the first hurdle and have shown your support then it will get easier as time goes by. The last thing you want is for your son or daughter to get frightened at the prospect of sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Preparation is key for your child. When you are getting ready to take your little one to see the dental practitioner for the very first time you should follow what is often thought of as the “rule of one.” The rule is simple- a child should be taken to see the dentist by the time they reach their first birthday or when their first tooth breaks through the gum line (whichever takes place first). After that first hurdle- the first appointment- the child should visit the dentist for regular visits twice a year, which works out to be every six months. This is exactly what the parents should be doing as well. Set a good example for your offspring!

Some people do not take their child to the dentist until they are two or three years of age. They decide to wait until their child has most or all of their baby teeth before they book an appointment. Introducing your child to this aspect of health care early on is significant because it sets up a good foundation for their future dental care and dental hygiene. Professional dental care that gets an early start also offers a way for parents to play an active role in the health of their children’s teeth and gums.

Do not take your child to the dental practitioner’s office without first talking to him or her about it. You need to prepare your daughter or son for what they can expect. You want the visit to be positive and successful. To do your part to ensure this you must discuss the upcoming appointment with your child.

Put a positive spin on the visit. Do not use negative words or phrases to describe the experience your child is about to have. If you do this it can create unwanted stress and anxiety and will make your child fear the worst. Explain the visit in basic and plain language that a child will understand. Communicate to your child the importance of taking care of his/her teeth at home. Explain that going to the dental provider is a part of the overall process. Make sure too that you practice what you preach.

To be a gold star parent in the dental department you need to find as many ways as you possibly can to make visits to the tooth doctor enjoyable for your child. Find out ahead of time if the waiting room has toys and if children are given a small treat at the end of the visit. These things can be very encouraging to a young child.

You also need be positive and uplifting about the appointment. Talk in an animated way to your child and make sure that you discuss the upcoming appointment with a smile on your face.

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