Preparation of your child is crucial for ensuring their first trip to the dentist is a positive experience.
Here are a few of my top tips for parents to make that first (and every) visit is a relaxing one.
Most importantly, even if you have a great fear of the dentist or you are the typical “I hate the dentist” type of patient , please don’t pass this to your child by using negative words. Don’t talk about your fear in front of your child, use positive words and phrases about visiting the dentist.
Try to make their appointments in the morning so they are not tired, cranky or hungry. Please bring your child in for a quick visit at around 2-3 years of age so that their first visit is simply a fun ride in the chair, counting teeth and maybe even a little kiddies clean. Waiting until your child has a problem to bring them in is not a great way to build up their confidence. By about the third time they attend for a kids checkup and clean most kids feel really relaxed about their dental visits.
When you bring your child into the dental surgery try to stay relaxed and calm. Please don’t tell your child to be “brave” as this subconsciously tells your child that there is something that they should be afraid of. Don’t use words like “needle” or “drill” as the dentist will explain anything that is required for their visit in a special way to help keep children calm. Try to remain more of a passive observer while the dentist is examining your child’s teeth as children tend to stay more calm when their parents are calm.
Role playing with your child before they come in can be very useful. Put on some disposable gloves and make a pretend mask and pretend to be the dentist counting their teeth. Tell them about the magic chair that turns into a bed. If they are coming to our practice, you can even tell them that they can watch some tv on the ceiling while we are counting their teeth.
If you have any concerns about when might be the right time to bring your child in for their first dental visit please call our friendly staff on 5580 8855 and they will be able to help you further.