Your Child’s First Dentist Trip: Tips For Parents to Make It a Success
Bringing your child to the dentist for the first time can make parents nervous. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While you may harbour some apprehensions about visiting a dentist, remember that your child has no reason to see their first trip as anything but a fun experience.
Help Them Know What to Expect
Prepare your child for their first dentist trip by reading fun picture books to them, or watch a DVD or YouTube clip about visiting the dentist so they become familiar with the process. There are some great resources out there that explain what a dentist does, what they wear, what the waiting room and dental chair might look like, and some of the things that happen, like counting and cleaning their teeth.
Use positive language to explain a trip to the dentist without going into technical detail, which may confuse them or cause stress. You child should simply think of a dentist as a caring doctor who helps people build healthy, strong teeth.
Bring Them In For a Visit
Consider bringing them along to one of your own dental check -ups so they can get used to the environment of a dental clinic. Seeing you in the dental chair feeling comfortable and happy will be a great help for your child. Use a dentist who has extensive experience working with both children and adults. That way you can have the same dentist, allowing your child to meet them at your check up and get to know them. The visit can be a fun and educational experience. When they come back, they will feel more familiar with the dentist and the environment.
By age two, a child should attend the dentist for their own appointment.
Make sure you encourage good oral hygiene habits at home. Help them brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, depending on their age and whether or not your home water supply contains fluoride. For children six and under, use a low- dose fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft, child-size toothbrush and replace it every three months. Reduce their intake of sugary and starchy snacks. Try to stop sucking habits as soon as you can.
Keep Things Positive
Keep a relaxed and happy attitude so you can set a positive tone for your perceptive young child. Arrive at their first appointment early. You want to avoid rushing which may cause unnecessary stress. Make sure they have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the new experience.
Bring along a comfort toy or favourite blanket to help them feel comfortable and at home in the dental chair. Encourage and congratulate your child for their behaviour during the check-up. Always be supportive rather than critical. Plan a treat after the dental appointment to help your child stay focused on the positive. This can be as simple as a trip to the playground.
Use an Experienced and Gentle Dentist
If you’re looking for an expert family dentist in North Sydney, look no further than McMahons Point Health. Our north Sydney dentist, Dr Edwina Toulmin specialises in providing a relaxing environment for children and helping them enjoy trips to the dentist. Currently, McMahons Point health is offering a no gap special for children at their first (check-up and clean.
Dr Edwina aims to provide a comfortable, homely clinic with music, movies and well-presented rooms. She uses a number of relaxation techniques that has converted many dental phobics into happy, fear-free regular patients. For all round family dental care in North Sydney that is thorough and gentle, book an appointment at McMahons Point Health.