Preparing Your Child for His/Her First Dentist Appointment

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for both of you. It’s a new experience for the child and may not always be pleasant, especially if their teeth need some work. However, as long as you prepare yourself and your child, their first dentist appointment should go smoothly. Here are some tips to help get them ready! 

Finding the Right Dentist

To get the most out of your child’s first visit to the dentist, you need to find the right one. When you start searching, you’ll want to look specifically for a Pediatric Dentist. These fully qualified dentists spend an extra two to three years studying child development, so they’re trained in treating babies, kids, and teens. A Pediatric Dentist will also be trained in treating disabled and special needs children. 

Take a Tour

To put your child at ease for their first dental appointment, a quick tour of the office could help. Call ahead to check with your dentist to see if you can arrange a time to have a look around with your child. Getting familiarized with the rooms, chairs, tools, and people they’ll encounter on the day of their appointment will remove some anxiety and nervousness. Alternatively, a virtual tour could do the trick, too!  Check out your dentist’s website to see if this is something they offer or at least find some photos online. 

Mental Preparation

Once you have the dentist appointment scheduled, you can start preparing your child mentally. There are lots of videos and cartoons that show a favorite character at the dentist, so check wherever your child watches videos. Once your child has a basic understanding of what the dentist does, have them act out a dental checkup with a doll or stuffed animal. 

What To Expect

For your child’s first dentist appointment, your dentist will not only check your child’s teeth and gums, but they’ll also need to talk to you about the best ways to keep your baby’s mouth healthy. Expect to receive information about the best toothbrush and toothpaste for young children and how to properly brush and floss, especially if they don’t yet have all of their teeth. The dentist should also talk about which food and drinks to avoid and answer questions about pacifiers, teething, thumb-sucking, and general discomfort. 

Follow-Up Discussion

Visiting the dentist will hopefully be a regular occurrence for your child, so take some time to have a follow-up discussion after the first appointment. Emphasize all of the positives from the appointment, so there’s no fear associated with the dentist. Remind your child that nothing hurt, that the toothpaste tasted good, or that they got a new toothbrush or toy at the end of the appointment. You could even reward them after with their favorite treat or snack. Try to make it a positive experience for them! 

Contact Whiting Dental Arts

If your child is getting ready for their first dentist appointment, the trusted pediatric dentists at Whiting Dental Arts are here to help. Located on Massachusetts’ north shore in Swampscott MA, we’re the experts in routine cleanings and other dental services for children and adults. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment

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