Are you dreading your child’s first trip to the dentist?
Going to the dentist is never fun. Over 60% of adults fear going to the dentist, so, understandably, kids would be pretty worried about it too. Fortunately, if you or your child is nervous about their first time in the chair, there are a few things you can do to help ease that anxiety and even get them excited.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment.
Teach Them to Brush
All adults already know that the better your oral hygiene practices at home, the less painful your visits to the dentist will be. And, while your child may not have all of their permanent teeth yet, it’s never too early to start teaching your child about the importance of proper brushing and flossing.
Teaching your child about how to care for their teeth will also get them more comfortable with the feeling of having cleaning tools in their mouth. So, when it comes time to visit the dentist, they won’t shy away from the dentist’s equipment.
If you’re having trouble getting your child excited about dental hygiene, there are a few simple tricks you can try.
First, let them pick out all of their stuff themselves. If you let your child pick out their toothbrush, toothpaste, and even floss or flossers, they’ll be more willing to use them.
Another way to get your child excited about dental hygiene is by turning toothbrushing time into a family activity. Children learn best by observing adults. And, when you turn something mundane like toothbrushing into a family activity, it suddenly becomes something fun that your child can look forward to every day.
Read or Watch Some Stories
Fortunately, parents have been dealing with dentophobia for decades. So, there’s no shortage of fun books and tv episodes all about a child’s first trip to the dentist.
One of the best ways to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment is by sitting down with them and reading a few of these books or watching a show or two. By going over these stories together, especially if the story stars a character they already know, you can help familiarize your child with what happens at a dentist’s office and teach them that there’s nothing to fear.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Finally, as we said before, children learn best through observation. If you’re nervous about visiting the dentist, your child will pick up on that and get scared too. So, even if you deal with dentophobia yourself, if you want to make sure your child doesn’t spend their first visit to the dentist in tears, you need to at least pretend to be as excited as possible.
By expressing excitement and maintaining a positive attitude about the dentist, your children will be much more likely to feel excited too.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
Once your child’s first visit to the dentist is over, no matter how well or how poorly it went, it’s critical to use plenty of positive reinforcement to help ensure your child looks forward to every single trip.
Going to the dentist is a part of life, and instilling good habits in your child from the get-go will help ensure a lifetime of good dental hygiene.
Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
The best way to make sure your child learns good dental hygiene practices that will stick with them for a lifetime is by starting young. Now that you know a bit more about how to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment, it’s time to get to work getting them ready.
Are you looking for more advice on how to prepare your children to take on the world? We’re here to help! Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles and advice today.