Nearly 40% of the population suffers from a fear of the dentist. Dental anxiety is more common than most people realize. Learning how to prepare your child for their first visit could ease that anxiety before it sets in. Here are seven tips to help prepare your child for their first visit to the Arlington pediatric dentist.
With these tips, you can inform your child about oral care before their appointment. You can help them feel comfortable before they ever sit in the dentist’s care.
Then, you won’t have to worry about them squirming through the entire appointment. Instead, they’ll feel eager to show off their stunning smile!
Otherwise, the fear they develop as children could impact their oral health as adults.
Don’t let it come to that! Instead, learn how to help your child overcome fear of the dentist with these seven simple tips today.
1. Find a Fun Dentist
Before anything else, it’s important to find the right dentist for your child. Otherwise, even the best dentist won’t feel capable of putting them at ease.
Talk to friends, family members, and other parents in Arlington. Ask them about the Arlington pediatric dentist their children go to. Take the time to learn about the child’s experience with the dentist.
For example, is the dentist fun and good around kids?
The number of pediatric dentists in the US could increase by over 60% in the next decade. Not every pediatric dentist has the same amount of experience around kids, though. Look for a pediatric dentist who has years of hands-on experience.
Look into their training and specific qualifications, too. For example, they might have completed training specific to children, including children’s development and psychology. These pediatric dentists might have an easier time putting your child at ease.
Try to find a fun, engaging dentist as well. For example, they might use distractions like fun stories to keep your child distracted.
Look for photos of the waiting room and office, too. Is it designed with children in mind? A fun environment will help put your child at ease before their appointment.
Gather a number of recommendations from other parents in Arlington. Then, meet with a few yourself.
Once you find the right pediatric dentist, schedule an appointment between them and your child.
2. Meet the Dentist
Let your child meet their Arlington pediatric dentist before their first actual appointment. They’ll feel more comfortable around the dentist if they’ve already had the chance to meet them.
Let your child know why visiting the dentist is important before the actual visit. Let them know that a dentist can keep their teeth clean and healthy. Then, show off your own amazing smile.
Your child will want to follow in your footsteps. If they see you’re not afraid, they might mimic your behavior.
Tell them you’re only going to the dentist’s office this time to meet the dentist. This initial appointment won’t take too long.
It’s a chance for the dentist and your child to meet. It’s also an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns. For example, you might want to let the dentist know about your child’s thumb-sucking or pacifier habits.
Your dentist can give you advice to ensure oral health issues don’t develop in the future.
Try to schedule this first appointment while your child is still young. Starting them at a young age will help them grow comfortable around the office. They’ll get acquainted with the dentist and the tools they use.
3. Discuss Oral Hygiene
Sit down with your child to discuss the importance of oral hygiene before their first official appointment. Understanding the importance of maintaining oral hygiene will help them prepare for their appointment. They’ll realize there’s nothing to fear about their first visit to the Arlington pediatric dentist.
Try to avoid telling your child about the dentist months before the actual appointment. You don’t want to put ideas in their head.
Instead, remain honest. Let them know the dentist will check their teeth for germs. Discuss how brushing and flossing can keep their teeth shiny and clean.
Avoid using words like “pain” when discussing oral health.
4. Lead By Example
Remember, your child will want to mimic your behavior. You can prepare your child for the dentist by leading by example.
Ask your child if they want to brush their teeth alongside you in the bathroom. Show them how to brush every tooth.
Show them how to maintain good oral hygiene. Make it a habit to brush together. They’ll look forward to spending time with you.
5. Find Media
You can also prepare your child to visit their pediatric dentist in Arlington through videos and books.
During the consultation appointment with the dentist, ask if they can provide any suggestions. Otherwise, look online. You can find fun videos on YouTube that will help your child recognize the importance of oral health.
Some videos can even show them what it’s like to sit in the dentist’s chair.
Make sure to watch the videos yourself beforehand.
6. Time It Right
Before your child’s first visit to the Arlington pediatric dentist, consider your timing. When is your child in the best mood? For example, you might want to schedule their appointment after naptime.
Perhaps they’re most relaxed after lunch or a snack.
If they’re feeling overstimulated or hungry, they might act out during the appointment. Instead, schedule the appointment based on their mood.
7. Reward Good Behavior
Make sure to reward your child for their good behavior. For example, you can promise a visit to the zoo or a new toy. You don’t have to promise sugary desserts or food.
Rewarding their good behavior will help them look forward to visiting the dentist.
Brush Up: 7 Tips to Prep Your Child to Visit Their Arlington Pediatric Dentist
Preparing your child for their first visit to the Arlington pediatric dentist doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, give these seven tips a try. You can also schedule a consultation appointment with the dentist for more helpful advice.
Putting your child at ease before their appointment will ensure they receive the care they need.
Eager to schedule an appointment? We’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started.