As a parent, you look forward to many “firsts” with your child. From your little one’s first steps to his or her first bite of real food, parenting is an extremely rewarding job that requires patience, love, and understanding. As your child starts to grow and thrive, there will come a day when you’ll need to schedule your child’s first dental appointment. Unfortunately, many children are afraid of the dentist’s office, and may resist getting in the car to go to the appointment. Most of the time this fear is associated with the anticipation of pain, or simply anxiety from an unfamiliar experience. Luckily, there are ways to prepare your little one for his or her first appointment.
Know When It’s The Right Time To Bring Your Child To The Dentist
Many new parents make the mistake of waiting too long to bring their child to the dentist. Most dental professionals recommend that you make your child’s first dental appointment around six months, when the child’s first tooth comes in. It’s important to establish good oral health habits with your child at a young age, which includes regular dental checkups and cleanings, so they understand how important it is to take care of their teeth. When you bring your child to the dentist at an early age, it will help them feel more comfortable.
Practice Going To The Dentist With Your Child
If your young one puts up a fight every time you go to the dentist, consider playing a game of pretend at home. Kids love make-believe, so if you dress up like a dentist and role-play with your child prior to their dental appointment, it may make going to the dentist easier. Build a mock-dental office in your home, and ask your little one to sit in the dental chair while you inspect his or her mouth. Use a handheld mirror so your child can see their teeth as you playfully pretend to inspect his or her mouth. You can even bring a toothbrush into the mix to show your child how to properly brush their pearly whites.
Once your child’s dental checkup is complete, ask him or her to grab their favorite stuffed animal so they can play dentist. Hand over the mirror and toothbrush to your little one, and watch as your child pretends to inspect his or her teddy bear’s mouth. Sometimes, a little pretend play is all you need to alleviate the fear of going to the dentist.
Show Your Little One Dental-Themed Books Or TV Shows
Children love television and books. If your son or daughter has a favorite TV show or book series, consider looking for episodes or books that include a visit to the dentist. When your child sees that their favorite television character goes to the dentist to get his or her teeth cleaned, there’s a good chance they’ll get excited at the thought of doing the same. Some books to consider include: “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Suess and “Dora the Explorer: Show Me Your Smile.” Some television shows to consider are: “Peppa’s Pearly Whites” and “Arthur’s Tooth.”
Keep Your Attitude Positive
Children are like little sponges. They can read our energy in seconds and mimic our behaviors without us ever realizing it. Kids are very sensitive and perceptive to the people and feelings around them, so if you are nervous about your child’s first dental appointment, chances are, they will be too. Do your best to keep a positive attitude about your child’s dentist appointment, and try to remain relaxed on the outside so your child doesn’t pick up on your nerves.
Bring A Couple Toys Or Stuffed Animals
Most kids have a favorite something, whether it be a toy, stuffed animal, or video game. If bringing your child to the dentist is like pulling teeth (pun intended), make sure you bring a few of their favorite items to the dentist’s office with you. When your child starts to show concern at the office, hand them his or her favorite stuffed animal to take their mind off of where they are.
Family Dental Services At Charlotte Progressive Dentistry
If you’re in need of a family dentist in Charlotte, North Carolina, contact the professionals at Charlotte Progressive Dentistry. We understand how intimidating it can be for children to go to the dentist, which is why we’ve committed ourselves to providing a comfortable and stress-free environment for all of our dental patients. We make children a priority in our dental office, and we encourage you to bring your child in for their dental care.
In addition to family dentistry services, we also specialize in root canal therapy, tooth extractions, periodontal treatment, dentures, snoring prevention, mouth guards, and more. Check out our testimonials page to see what our dental clients have to say about us, and get in touch with our friendly staff to schedule an appointment!