Having children is a wonderful experience, but it certainly comes with its challenges. One of those challenges is their oral health. It is recommended that your baby should first visit the dentist no later than their first birthday. By ensuring your child goes to the dentist early, they can track their development. This will also get them used to build a relationship with the dentist so they are not scared to go later on.
Taking your child to the dentist can be an exciting activity, but it is completely natural for your child to be a bit scared. So in this article, we will go through some helpful ways in which you can prepare your child for their first dental appointment.
It is well known that as part of a child’s development, children will imitate adult behaviours so they can move on to the next stage of their development. This includes when you are happy, sad or scared. With children being sensitive to the people close to them, it is only natural for them to feel how you feel. This means that even if you are scared of the dentist, you should not show it.
Instead, try to get them excited about their first trip to their private dentist. Talk about visiting the dentist in a positive manner instead of negatively. This also includes phrases like “it won’t hurt” as this can subconsciously make them more nervous. Instead of using negative words, you can get them excited by using phrases like “the fun chair” or “ the big boy/girl chair”. You could even explain that if they are good they may get something from the dentist like a new toothbrush or a sticker.
The good factor about children is that they are quite predictable. With this being said, they do throw their toys up in the air for no reason sometimes. But as a parent, you will be able to determine when they are most happy and when they are tired and grumpy. Usually, children are happy once they have had a nap or have eaten. When a child is tired or hungry, they are more likely to be in a bad mood. Opt to book your appointment for when they have either been fed or had their nap.
One of the best ways to get your child used to the dentist is to practice, so why not make it fun and do it at home. No, this doesn’t mean going out and buying all the proper equipment, but you can buy toy versions and play dentist with them.
If you can’t do this, you can at least get them to sit in a chair and brush their teeth for them, count their teeth whilst talking about their teeth and oral hygiene. Once you have done theirs, you can swap the roles and allow your child to do your teeth. This way, it allows them to get used to what is going to happen and how they are going to deal with it.
Children always have their favourite book, tv program or just character in general. This can be a great advantage to you as you can use these characters to prepare for the dentist. You can easily find their favourite character in something related to going to the dentist and brushing their teeth.
This can help them to be more engaged with the process and will help them to feel less anxious when they go for the first time. Whether this is Pappa Pig, Mickeys Play House or something else they like. There are so many out there.
My guess is that your child has at least one item that they can’t go anywhere without. Whether this is a favourite toy, blanket or any other obscure comforter. You will already understand how important this item is when it comes to bedtime so it isn’t going to be any different when they go somewhere strange and new for the first time. This can help them to feel calm and feel safe in the new environment. It might be with bringing a spare just in case.
If none of the above work, then this one will surely do the trick. Offering them a small reward will get them excited and help them to be on their best behaviour. Whether this is taking them to the park, buying them some sweets or if they are really good, possibly a new toy. By doing this they will be much calmer and more focused as they have their eye on the prize.
There are many ways in which you can help your child be prepared for their first visit to the dentist. But by following these simple tricks you will be able to manage the dentist smoothly which hopefully results in no tears and a positive outlook for their next trip to the dentist.