Preparing Your Kid For Their First Dental Visit

Great dental health begins in childhood, but if your child is like many, they may have some amount of anxiety about going off to the dentist, especially if they have never been before. As their parent, it's up to you to alleviate their concerns and answer their questions so that dental visits are positive. Here are some ways you can help them.

Practice at Home

The first thing you can do to gauge how your kid might do during a dental exam is to practice in your own home. Talk to your small child about what the exam will be like and what the dentist will do. You might show your child pictures of different dental tools and explain why the dentist might use them during the examination. If you like, you can do a little roleplaying to see what your child says and does.

Just Say Hi

One way to get your child used to the entire experience is to visit the office before their exam. You can pop in to get a sticker or to chat with some of the staff, and the dentist may be able to spend a few moments saying hello. By getting familiar with the office and the people in it, your child won't feel uncomfortable when they return for their appointment.

Allow Them to Sit In on One of Your Visits

Another thing you can do for your child is to have them sit in on a dental visit of yours. By watching how you act and seeing what you go through, they can see that dental visits aren't a big deal; in fact, they may find the visit very interesting and actively look forward to sitting in the chair themselves.

Bring Help

On the day of your kid's initial dental exam, look around the house for things that might serve as distractions in case you see your child becoming uncomfortable. A favorite stuffed bear to hold or a favorite CD to listen to can be a lifesaver for you and everyone involved. There are some dental offices that are equipped with televisions so that your child can watch a beloved DVD or see a TV show.

When you're able to do the things suggested in this article, you'll help your child to be less anxious about their dental visit. Chat with staff at the office for additional suggestions so that your kid views the experience as a good one.