3 Tips For Your Child's First Visit To The Dentist

You probably already help your toddler brush their teeth after meals and before bed, but it's just as important to bring them to the dentist once or twice a year. If you have been putting off your child's first dentist appointment because you or your child are anxious about it, there is no reason to be afraid. Most family and pediatric dentists are very skilled at putting small children at ease before and during their appointments. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your child's first dentist appointment:

Carefully Choose the Right Dentist

Choosing the right family or pediatric dentist will go a long way toward making your child feel comfortable during their appointment. Ask friends with similarly aged children for recommendations. If possible, have a phone call or consultation visit before your child's appointment to get a good feel for the dentist office. Many family dentists offer special perks for kids, such as colorful dentist chairs, tablets with distracting videos or games, colorful murals on the wall, and even a small toy or fun new toothbrush as a gift at the end of the visit.

Have Pretend-Dentist Time at Home

Toddlers are known for being imaginative, so use this to your advantage by playing dentist office at home. Take turns being the dentist and being the patient. Keep things upbeat and positive, since your child will pick up on your attitude when it comes to going to the dentist. Have fun counting each other's teeth, and when you are the dentist, tell your child how proud you are because you can tell they have been doing a great job brushing their teeth every day.

Reward Your Child for a Job Well Done

Positive reinforcement often works wonders for helping a child overcome anxiety about a task like going to the dentist for the first time. Offer your child a reward for the afternoon after their dentist appointment. This could mean letting them pick out a new toy or book, bringing them to a new playground, or taking a visit to the children's museum. Even something simple like a new sheet of stickers or a healthy dessert can be very motivating. Be sure to also reward your child with plenty of verbal praise during and after their appointment!

By following these tips, you will ensure that your child's first dentist appointment is as low stress, informative, and even fun as possible. To learn more, talk to dental professionals like James V Bachman DMD.