Going to the dentist can be intimidating, especially to a child. In a previous post Rudy (and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend the first dental visit should occur within six months of the baby’s first tooth and no later than their first birthday. But how does a child (and their parent) prepare for this important dental visit? Here are Rudy’s 5 Recommendations for making their appointment run smoothly.
Find a kid-friendly dentist.
Not all dentists have the same training. Pediatric dentists (like Dr. John and Zach Bozic) have received 2-3 years of advanced training to specifically handle working with children, teens, young adults, and those with special needs.
These pediatric specialists have the techniques and team members tailored to keep your child calm and comfortable during their appointment.
Educate, educate, educate.
It’s never too early to start healthy habits! Parents should explain the importance of oral health, even to their young children. Something as simple as fixing a healthy, low-sugar meal and practicing brushing/flossing can have a significant impact on the child’s first visit.
From reading encouraging stories about visiting the dentist (Rudy has an upcoming blog post on some good books!) to letting them pretend/act out their first dental appointment, parents should help engage their child’s creativity regarding dental visits.
Practice what you preach
YOU are your child’s biggest role model. Having a regular brushing/flossing regimen as well as a diet free from sugary snacks/sodas can lay a solid foundation for you child's oral health.
In addition, regardless of your previous experience at the dentist, speak positively about their upcoming visit - it can make a big difference in how they perceive and ultimately handle the appointment.
Most kids have questions. Who is going to be there? What are they going to do? Is it going to hurt? The more you and your child talk about the dentist, the more chances you have to reassure and resolve hesitations before they are in the chair.
Rudy has new kids coming to visit Pediatric Dentistry West everyday and we want to make your visit as stress-free as possible. If there is anything we can do to help make the experience more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to call!