Disaster-Free First Visits to the Pediatric Dentist
Dental visits can be scary for most people including adults, but the first visit is the most terrifying especially for a child. That’s why it is very important to know exactly how to prepare your child for that visit, not just to make the appointments and visits easier on everyone involved, but also for you and your child to make the most of your dental care without too much fuss. This first visit will also set the tone on how your child perceives dentists and dental visits in the future: by showing your child that you are prepared and you have no apprehension or fear whatsoever of the dentist, this will rub off to them and this will greatly improve the likelihood of your child having a healthy smile throughout their childhood until they become adults.
To forge good dental habits for your kids, the first visit must be a pleasant or at least a favorable dental experience. Here are some of the things that you can do to help get your child to willingly visit a pediatric dentist.
There’s a wealth of information to be gathered from people who have been there and gone through the same experience. If you are a first-time parent or have just moved to a new town, your best resource for a kid’s dentist is other parents. Pick their brains, get tips, take notes, and ask as many questions as possible. They may not be able to answer all of it, but by the time you’re done questioning them you’ll have new ideas and proven strategies (which you could not have possibly thought on your own) that you can use when the time comes for your child to visit a dentist.
A little research goes a long way in getting the best dental health care provider for your kids. Before hunting for your child’s dentist though, first you need to know when to go, whom to choose, and what will happen. As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the first visit ideally should be after six months of the first tooth’s arrival, or by the time your kid turns one. By following this guideline, dental problems can be prevented and treated in the early stages, thus significantly reducing the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay later in life. As with anything else, the earlier the better.
In choosing the dentist, make sure you pick someone who has experience with young children. A pediatric dentist is ideal because he has additional training on caring for children’s oral health, not to mention they are better trained and equipped to handle the squirming and the tantrums of kids. Doing your research online or calling us at (888) 661-2852 can give you quick, straight-forward information about pre-qualified family and pediatric dentists in your area. Look for a dentist who specializes in treating children, fits your budget and schedule, accepts your insurance, and is close to your home.
More often than not, kids are traumatized of their first dental visit because they don’t know what to expect. One moment they’re happily having a ride on the dentist’s fancy chair going up and down, back and forth, just like in an amusement park, only to have a close encounter later on with the drill. They may be young, but just like anyone else, kids also need to know what to expect because the more they know, the more reassured they will be and the less stress they will have.
Listen to their fears and address those fears while reassuring and explaining to them the process and the benefits of going to the dentist (to prevent cavities, tooth decay, tooth ache, etc.). Also, when narrowing down your choices, have your child tag along, hear them out or let them have a say in the decision, talk to them about what will happen and why, and if possible, introduce your child to the dentist now so he or she won’t be seeing a stranger on the first visit.
Instilling good dental habits into your child starts at home. Lead by example, and you can be sure your kid will follow suit. Kids look up to their parents, so if they see you brushing your teeth at least twice per day, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly, they are more likely to make oral hygiene a priority and enjoy it in the process. If you have any apprehensions or negative feelings about going to the dentist, keep it to yourself so your child can enjoy their first dental visit with the same enthusiasm as a visit to the park.
A child’s visit to a new family or pediatric dentist can be a pleasure or a disaster depending on how well you have prepared. A well-planned first treatment will put your child at ease and encourage a lifetime of good oral health.