On their first dental visit, your child doesn’t have to come in kicking and screaming when done right. If they do, however, don’t fret. Your child might just be going through dental fear or anxiety. It’s a common problem that happens in pediatric dentistry, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from making your child’s first dental visit a success.
Take note, however, that planning your child’s first visit might be more stressful for you than it is for your child. Some kids might have no pre-conceived notions of what that first dental visit will entail. If you stress yourself out too much, you might end up pre-empting their fears.
Here, then, are five ways you can do to make your child’s first dental visit a success.
- Prep them up beforehand
While they’re still young, your kids are still quite impressionable. When it comes to first experiences, they can easily pick up on the expectations you give them. To ensure they take a more positive outlook on their first visit, preparation is vital. Maybe you can play-act their first appointment together. Or perhaps you can watch episodes of their favorite show that talk about going to the dentist. The more familiar they are with what happens during an appointment, the more eager they might be to see it for themselves.
- Choose the right time to make an appointment
Sometimes the enjoyment of that first dental visit hinges on things you can’t control. If your child happens to be fussy or uncomfortable on the day of the appointment, you can expect a little turbulence. But while incidents like these may come out of left field, there are some things you could do to make the situation better. You might want to make an appointment on a day or time when your child is usually more relaxed and alert. This tip is particularly helpful when dealing with children who have just begun teething.
- Get them excited during the day itself
Kids love stories and love being part of them. Use this knowledge to make the trip to the dentist a little more fun. Have your kids become the star of the show in their interactive adventure. This game can turn a regular dental appointment into something they could look forward to every time.
- Include them in your dental appointments
Appealing to your kids’ imaginative side is always a good idea. But if you want to go the extra mile, let them be familiar with the dentist’s office altogether. Take them along your appointments. That way, they could get a feel of what it’s like. Get them curious about the dental equipment, let them meet your dentist, do what you can to make the office a place your child could feel safe in. It’ll most likely help you when it’s their turn on the dentist’s chair.
- Find the right dentist
Of course, a surefire way to make your child’s first dental visit a success is to find the right pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are well-equipped and well-trained to treat children in general. Finding a dentist that suits your child, on the other hand, may take some time. Fortunately, at Hawaii Family Dental, we have a team of pediatric dentists in Honolulu, Aiea, Kaneohe, and many more areas in Hawaii who’d be glad to serve your kids. No need to look any further!