Your child can get cavities as soon as their teeth come in. That’s why it’s crucial to start taking care of your baby’s teeth when they begin to grow. By their first birthday, you should already be scheduling your child’s first dental appointment. However, make sure not to surprise them with a sudden dental visit. Here are ways to prepare your child before their first dental visit so they’re comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist.
Talk To Them About The Appointment
A child’s first dental visit shouldn’t be a surprise. Take some time to explain to your child what will happen during the appointment. (“The doctor will ask you to open your mouth so they can get a good look at your teeth!”) Let them know that this experience is for their own good and that no harm will come to them while they’re on the dental chair. Be sure to keep a positive attitude and talk excitedly about the upcoming appointment. This can go a long way in making your child feel comfortable instead of scared and anxious.
Before the appointment, help your child visualize what it will be like at the dental office by reading them a story about a friendly dentist or watching a video about dental visits. If your child is older, you can even play pretend with them by acting as if they’re going to the dentist and practicing opening their mouth wide to count their teeth.
Bring Along A Favourite Toy
If you sense that your child is nervous, bringing a favourite toy or stuffed animal could help ease their worries. But if your child’s dental anxiety continues to persist, there are other ways to make them feel safe.
In case your child becomes upset or starts to act out, you may need to reschedule the appointment— don’t force it. But if they behave, reward them with a treat, like stickers, a new toothbrush or a small toy. Doing these things with your child can help them get ready for their first visit and set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre is child-friendly and welcoming, and all our staff members are trained to ensure your child feels as safe and comfortable as possible. If your child hasn’t visited a dentist before or in a long time, schedule an appointment with us today. We’re located in Transcona, near Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue.