Preparing Your Child for Their First Dental Visit
Parents experience many firsts with their children – first steps, first words, first time riding a bike, first day of school, and the list goes on. But there are some childhood firsts many parents fail to consider, such as the first dental visit. Visiting the dentist can seem frightening to some children, especially the first visit, where it’s a new experience filled with uncertainty and strangers in a strange place. Put your child's mind at ease and ensure their experience is positive by preparing them for their first visit - here's how:
Talk to Your Child about Dental Health
Explaining the importance of dental health is a great first step. Since toddlers are generally curious about their bodies, a young age is the perfect time to talk to them about their teeth, mouth and dental health. First, ask or help them to identify their teeth, gums and tongue. If your child is under the age of three, the lesson can end here, but with older children, you can talk to them about what their teeth are for, why it’s important to maintain dental health and how to form healthy oral care habits.
Take Your Child to a Pediatric or Family Dentist
It's recommended that children see a pediatric or family dentist. Dentists like those you will visit here at Bennett Dental have experience providing care to children and are better equipped to put them at ease during the first visit. Pediatric dentists also offer comfort, compassion, fun and interest. For your child, this should facilitate confidence, trust and a positive view of dentists and dental checkups. Being comfortable and confident with the dentist could also encourage children to ask important questions. But you must first encourage them to ask questions and assure them that it’s okay to do so. You can lead by example by asking your own questions, first.
Get the Family Involved
Frequent, positive exposure is the most effective way to teach healthy habits to a child. It’s even more effective when the entire family is involved. Brush your teeth with your young children or allow them to brush their teeth with their siblings. Most young children are prompted to perform an action when they see others they admire performing that same action. You can also make brushing their teeth fun by providing a colourful toothbrush and/or toothpaste or by turning the activity into a fun game. On that same note, books, activities, games and videos dedicated to oral health and visiting the dentist can also be used to prepare them for their first dental appointment.
Are you currently looking for a pediatric dentist? Edmonton families trust Bennett Dental to provide a positive experience for patients of all ages. Call us today to schedule an appointment!