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Speak to anybody in the world, and high chances are they have some phobia about going to the dentist, including adults. Your child most likely harbors the same kind of fear whenever you mention a dental visit. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to ensuring high oral hygiene standards without visiting the dentist for regular check-ups at least twice a year. How do you handle your kids’ first dentist appointment? Here are some great tips to make the process smooth.
Introduce dental health care routines early
Even in the absence of teeth, your child should start dental health care routines early, focusing on the gums. Gradually introduce them to taking care of their teeth as they grow. This will help them familiarize themselves with the dental environment and routines. Make brushing and flossing fun to deal with the phobia indirectly. Dentists recommend taking your kids for their first dental visit within six months of growing their first tooth. An early visit to the dentist gives you an opportunity to educate yourself on your child’s best dental care routines and even prevent future problems.
Bring along their favorite toy
While this tip might seem obvious, it actually goes a long way in making your child feel relaxed and safe during that first appointment. You could even encourage them to bring their toy for a dental appointment too. Using the toy to demonstrate what the dentist will do to them will make your child understand better the entire process.
Stay positive for both you and your child
Despite your child being too young and fragile, they constantly pick up body language, information, words, and vocal cues from you. It’s important to stick to positivity when preparing them for their first dental appointment. Explain the process and appointment in an excited and cheerful tone. However, remember to keep it simple so as not to trigger their anxiety. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist will ensure that you stay positive throughout the process for your own sake.
Choose a good pediatric dentist
Your kids need attention and care during dental visits. They need to feel safe and comfortable rather than terrified and scared. It would help if you choose a dentist who specializes in working with children and their dental health. Take your time when selecting a dentist in Cary NC or your particular locale in order to give your child a reason to return for the excellent services. Ensure that the pediatric dental clinic is child-friendly with decorations and toys to make your child feel at ease from the moment they walk into the clinic, through the entire first appointment process, and when they leave.
Select a happy appointment period
You know your child, their mood swings, and their triggers. Try to book their first dental appointment when they are mostly at their happiest. Most kids are at their happiest and most attentive during the morning and early afternoon hours. Avoid booking appointments in later hours that might find the kids tired and fatigued with foul moods.
Examine your child at home
Practice dental exams at home to examine how they would react to an actual dental appointment. Your child is likely to feel more relaxed if they have already experienced it before. Don’t be tough on the child and instead engage them in games and plays to help them feel comfortable. You will make things easier for your dentist if you walk in with ready tips on how to handle your child’s oral space.
Tag along with your child to your dental appointments
Kids look up to their parents and guardians tremendously. As your child’s hero, show them there’s nothing to fear in a dental appointment by bringing them to one of your dental appointments and letting them watch the entire process. They’ll witness the painless process and be at ease when their time comes. Make them understand that a dentist isn’t an enemy. It will also help in dealing with anxiety and help them familiarize themselves with the dentist’s environment.
First dental appointments are crucial in painting the right picture for your child. They determine how your child will react to the rest of their dental appointments for the rest of their lives. These tips discussed above should help you create the perfect first dental appointment for your children.