Feeling anxious about taking your child to the dentist for the first time? A trip to the dentist’s office doesn’t need to be a scary thing for either the parent or the child. Follow our helpful tips on how to prepare both your child and yourself for their first trip to see the dentist.
1. Know the Right Time to Go
It’s a common myth that children don’t need to see the dentist until they are old enough to understand. Babies should see the dentist by the age of one or within six months of their first tooth coming in. This allows the dentist to make sure everything is progressing as it should be and help prevent any future oral health issues.
It also gives them a perfect chance to chat with parents about how to help their child with oral hygiene. From the age of two, dental check-ups should become more regular.
2. Pick a Great Family Dentist
You may have an excellent dentist now, but an office for adults is not necessarily right for kids, so take the time to do some research and find a family-friendly dental office. Not only should they offer children’s dental services, but the dentist should be approachable, patient and understanding with children, the office should have a welcoming atmosphere that isn’t intimidating. At JC Dental, we offer all those things and more.
We want your child to feel less nervous when they come into our office, so we work hard to create that perfect atmosphere and believe that a friendly, comfortable approach to dental care will make sure kids aren’t nervous to come back after that first visit.
3. Set a Good Example
Kids look to parents as an example, so set a good one! Brush your teeth with your child every morning to get into a good routine and have a positive attitude about visiting the dentist.
4. Talk to Your Child About the Good Oral Hygiene and the Dentist
Children don’t always understand why it is so crucial to take care of teeth and gums, so it is important to talk about it. Of course, younger children may not understand, but if your child is a bit older take the time to discuss why we need to look after our teeth and why we go to the dentist. Explain what will happen when you go for a visit to see the dentist, even describe the room and big chair they will sit in to make it comfortable for them and easy for the dentist to have a look.
Talk about the tools they use to see their teeth and gums and that although they sometimes look scary, they’re really harmless and help the dentist check for any bad things. Don’t use scary words; instead, stick with the positives. The more kids know about what to expect; the less scary their experience will be.
5. Prepare Through Creative Play
Now that you have talked about how important it is and what to expect, why not play a little make-believe with your child and have a practice run? Your child can be the patient (or if they’re not ready, use a cuddly toy). Go through the motions of encouraging your “patient” to lie still and open wide. Pretend to have a look and help them “brush their teeth.”
Unsure if your child is ready for their first check-up or want to schedule an appointment?
Contact JC Dental today to have a chat with our friendly and knowledgeable staff about the best time to come in. We are family dentists that specialise in both children and adult dental care, providing expert services from regular check-ups to emergency calls.
Call our office today to speak to our team about an appointment.