Many adults are a little wary of visiting the dentist, so it should come as no surprise that your children may be scared of the idea of having somebody poking around in their mouths, especially if they have never been to the dentist before. Ammar Idlibi is an experienced pediatric dentist who founded Kids Dental Care, which provides “…both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics by residency-trained specialists,” in 2007. He has helped many children, and their parents, through the scary first visit to the dentist. These tips should help you to prepare your children and ensure appointments go off without a hitch.
Start As Early As Possible
The longer you leave that first visit, the more intimidating it is going to be for the child. Furthermore, it is recommended that you start bringing children to the dentist within six months of them cutting their first teeth, so that the dentist can check on progress and ensure that there will be no issues with the rest of the teeth that need to come through. By starting early, you help children become accustomed to visiting the dentist from an age where they are less likely to be scared by the idea. This makes later visits a lot easier in most cases.
Examine Your Child At Home
You should do everything you can to promote the idea of good oral hygiene at home. While establishing a regimen is crucial, especially as the child grows older, you can also help your child become more accustomed to the idea of having teeth examined by looking for yourself. While you will not bring the level of expertise that a pediatric dentist has, this can still allow you to spot issues and will help your child get used to the idea of somebody examining teeth, making the process feel normal during trips to the dentist.
Talk To Your Child
If you have waited until your child is a little older before arranging the first dental visit, it is crucial that you talk about what to expect when you enter the practice. Use language that is easy to understand and try to avoid negative phrases, such as “finding something wrong” or mentioning anything about pain. Instead, assure children that dentists are there to help them keep their teeth healthy and consider roleplaying what will happen with stuffed toys or dolls.
Ammar Idlibi has worked with many children as a pediatric dentist. If you time the visit poorly you may find that your child is less willing to accept the work the dentist needs to do. Arrange the appointment for a time when you know your child will be well-rested, fed and is more likely to be in a good mood.