Taking a child to the family dentist for the first time is usually more stressful for the parent than it is for the child since kids don’t have any preconceived opinions about the dentist office. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first dental checkup around their first birthday (or six months after the first tooth erupts). These tips will help make that first visit go smoothly for parents and kids alike.
Children pick up on the attitudes of their parents, so it’s especially important to stay relaxed and positive for this first appointment. Being anxious is likely to make the child feel uneasy about the visit, even if he or she is too young to understand why. By staying positive, parents send the message that there is nothing to fear about a trip to the family dentist.
Before the first visit, it’s a good idea to buy a book about dentists so children can become familiar with the idea. Choose a bright and colorful book with simple language that small children can understand. Afterward, “playing dentist” can be a fun game to make kids feel more comfortable with the idea of having their teeth checked.
It’s best to choose a dentist who specializes in pediatric and family dentistry. Some parents choose to use their own clinic for their children, while others opt for a dentist that focuses more on kids. Either way, parents should find someone who is knowledgeable with a personality that makes them feel comfortable. Dr. Dhaliwal provides comprehensive care for the whole family. He takes the time to listen to and answer every patient’s questions to help them achieve a beautiful smile.
Kids love adventures, so this is a great opportunity to create a memorable experience. To make the wait easier, parents should bring along some favorite toys for the waiting room. Then, after the checkup is over, the family can go on a fun outing like a trip to the park or zoo.
Teaching kids early about good oral hygiene means that their first trip to the dentist is more likely to be uneventful. Parents should start brushing their child’s teeth with a soft brush and water as soon as the first tooth appears. This is a good time to introduce the idea of the family dentist. For instance, praise the child by telling them “The dentist will be very proud of how you brushed your teeth without me reminding you.”
With these tips in mind, teaching kids about family dentistry and getting ready for the first appointment with Dr. Dhaliwal should be no problem.