Dentists recommend that children should have paid their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. Since around age 2 ½ is when most children have cut all of their baby teeth, early toddlerhood is the best time to start teaching your little one good dental hygiene habits by brushing their teeth every day and getting them used to going to the dentist for check-ups. Your child’s first visit to the dentist is very unlikely to yield any problems with their oral health if you’ve been practicing a good dental care routine, but, it can still be hugely nerve-wracking for many parents. Here’s how to best prepare your child – and yourself – for their first visit to the dentist.
Talk to the Dentist
Before your child’s appointment, a simple chat with your dentist can really help to clear up any fear or anxiety that you have. Your dentist will be able to explain to you exactly what they’ll do during the examination, which in most cases will be simply have a quick look at your child’s teeth to make sure that everything is OK. Most family dentists are happy to accommodate your child’s wishes to make sure that they feel happy, comfortable and safe. This could be something like allowing them to sit on your lap during the check-up or even letting them bring a favorite toy into the room with them.
Choose a Good Dentist
Usually, parents will automatically take their child to see their own dentist. But, in some cases this might not be a good idea – unless your dentist has a lot of young patients at their practice. Pediatric and family dentists are much more used to dealing with little patients, and will be more equipped to make sure that your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed or scared during their procedure. Family and pediatric dental practices are also much more fun for kids to visit, with many having toys in the waiting room for little ones to make use of and fun pictures on the walls of their favorite cartoon characters. If you’re looking for a Fresno Dentist, consider visiting qualified family dentist Dr. Chavez.
Make It Fun
The more of a fun experience you can make going to the dentist for your child, the less worried and anxious you both will be. Even if you have a fear of the dentist, the last thing that you want is to let this rub off on your child, as it could damage their habits and prevent them from visiting the dentist for regular check-ups in later life, leading to a range of potential problems. Prizes and treats are a great way to make going to the dentist more fun for little ones – many family dentists will allow your child to pick out a fun sticker to give them something to look forward to. You could take this one step further by allowing your child a new toy or taking them to somewhere fun such as the park after their dentist visit.
A good dentist will make your child’s first visit a fun and enjoyable experience for all involved.