Nothing can be more frightening for a child than their first visit to a dentist; what with all those strange chairs, bright lights, sharp instruments and a number of unfamiliar people to deal with. The truth is that the first dental visit doesn’t have to be that frightening at all.
There are a few important things you can do when visiting the pediatric dentistry office for the first time with your child so as to make it more tolerable to them and fun as well.
Choose pediatric dentistry: The first and most important things you can do for your child is to choose a children’s dentistry office. Those who specialize in pediatric dentistry will almost always decorate their offices in such a way that it looks child-friendly; their dental chairs are also slightly smaller and therefore less intimidating to children. The other thing you can do is to let the child visit the dentistry and meet the dentist some time before the planned appointment; this can give the dentist a chance to explain how he will check your child’s teeth and clean them up; this will put your child’s mind at ease before the time arrives.
Parents’ attitude: Parents need to check their attitude and especially watch their own words when talking about dental work and related experiences. Parents should avoid discussing any negative experiences they know about regarding dental work or express their own fear when going for dental appointments; this can easily cause a lot of anxiety to the child. All talk about dental work should be upbeat and should basically emphasize the importance of pediatric dentistry in helping to maintain healthy teeth.
Read and watch: There are a number of books and videos that can be used to effectively prepare your child for their first dental visit; you may want to try some books that have popular cartoon characters; these books and videos will help to show the child exactly what goes on in the children dentistry office. Once they see this as a normal event it will definitely stop being a scary affair. There are actually books that give a step-by-step account of what happens at the dentistry beginning from counting the teeth, brushing and polishing them in addition to taking X-rays. These are friendly child-like, step by step accounts that work very well to reduce anxiety in children especially when they get to learn what to expect.
Role-playing: A parent and their child can do role-playing as a way of getting prepared to visit the pediatric dentistry. You and your child can pretend to examine the mouth of a doll for example. The best way to go about it would be to model a real dental visit beginning from when you greet the receptionist all the way to when you will say bye to the dentist. You will be amazed at how this role-playing can be effective in preparing your child for their first dental visit.