While dentists highly recommend you bring your little ones to your local paediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth comes out, it’s still never too late the bring them in.
So if you’re planning to take your child to the dentist for the first time, here are 7 tips to make their first dental visit less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Teach them about teeth and oral health. Prior to bringing them to the dentist, introduce oral health and tooth brushing to your little ones. Teach them about their teeth, mouth and tongue. Better yet, use books, songs, toys, activities, and even role-playing to supplement their learning.
- Establish a good attitude about oral health. This is also important even long before you visit the dentist. Talk to your child about visiting the dentist and what they can expect from it. Talk about the experience in a positive, relaxed, and fun way so they can associate the same attitudes when the time comes.
- Plan a treat afterwards. Keep your children focused on the positive by planning something exciting after the visit to the dentist, like a trip to the park or playground, or even a promise of ice cream.
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- Be prepared. Bring along toys to soothe and distract them from the waiting room to the dental chair.
- Exude calm and positivity. Your children are highly perceptive of your feelings. Stay calm, positive, and cheerful; and keep your stress and anxiety under their radar.
- Cheer them on with sincere encouragement. Be considerate and supportive of their first experience with the dentist. Congratulate them for cooperating and tell them how much of a good job they’re doing.
- Trust your paediatric dentist. Excessively hovering around your children in the dentist’s chair can stress them out. Learn to ease up and trust your paediatric dentist.
Establishing a positive first dental visit is key in keeping dental anxiety at bay. It also sets up your children for good dental hygiene, which they can take for the rest of their lives.