Getting your child to the dentist for their first visit doesn’t have to be a struggle. If you prepare them for their dental appointment ahead of time, you can ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. We’ve put together some suggestions for how you can set your kid up for success when it comes to dental care and their oral health.
Read Kid-Friendly Dental Books
Fun, bright kids’ books can help kids understand why it’s so important to take care of their teeth and how a dentist can help. There are plenty of books out there to choose from like Doctor De Soto by William Steig, The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss, and Curious George Visits the Dentist. Story time is a great time to start a conversation about their dental health!
Be a Positive Role Model
Children are always taking in their parents’ attitudes about things and mirroring their behavior. Be extra careful and make sure you’re not projecting any bad feelings from past experiences you might have had on to them. Instead, keep things positive by ensuring them there’s nothing to worry about (don’t mention anything about pain, needles, or drills) and demonstrate healthy habits at home when it comes to brushing and flossing your own teeth. You may even consider bringing them to your dental appointment if you’re confident you can show you’re not afraid so they don’t have to be either!
Play “Dentist” with Stuffed Animals
Gather up some toothbrushes and stuffed animals and set up a pretend game of “dentist” where you walk through what happens in a dental checkup. Your child can play the dentist, the patient, or the parent, and it’ll give them an idea of what to expect so it all doesn’t seem so foreign when it’s their turn in real life.
Schedule a Meet & Greet
Most dental offices are happy to schedule a mini tour for you and your child so you both can meet the whole team and check out the office ahead of time. This meet and greet is a casual way for your child to get a feel for their surroundings before any of the actual dental work gets done. Then, when they come in for their real appointment, they’ll know just what to expect and see familiar faces. At Mission Hills Family Dental, we’d be happy to have you swing by!
Set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles!!