If you have children or are planning to have them, then making sure they get the best health care is important to you. And part of that health care needs to include seeing the dentist. Even if you have had some unpleasant experiences with the dentist when you were a child, that doesn’t have to happen with your child. Here are 7 tips to perfect your child’s first visit to the dentist:
- Talk teeth!: You don’t have to wait for your child to have teeth to start talking about dental care. And the sooner the better. Look for children’s books that discuss a happy visit to the dentist. You can also teach your child about the parts of the mouth at the same time.
- Practice makes perfect: Brushing your teeth is a twice-daily task that everyone should do – including babies. Buy a real baby’s tooth brush – not a toy – and get them used to the action and habit of brushing. It will also get them used to having dental related implements in their mouth.
- Do a dry run: New places can be a bit overwhelming for children. So why not take them to the dentist? Just pop in occasionally to meet the dentist, the hygienists, and see the office. The more they see it, the more comfortable your child could be for the first visit.
- Make it fun and familiar: On the day of your child’s first visit, make it as fun and comfortable as possible. For example, make them their favourite breakfast, let them wear their favourite clothes, and bring their most huggable teddy bear.
- Adjust your feelings: Do you dislike going to the dentist yourself? If so, that feeling can unintentionally filter down to your child. Try to be as relaxed and positive as you can about your own appointments to help your child be relaxed about theirs.
- See it in action: You can take your positive attitude a step further – bring your child along when you have your own visit. They can see the dentist in action, and get used to the equipment and layout.
- Choose a great dental office: Not all dental offices are created equal. Find one that specializes in children’s visits. Look for one where the office is bright, has toys, and employs a friendly staff. This can make all the difference!