For many parents, a child's first dental appointment can be both an exciting and intimidating milestone. A visit to the dentist signifies your little one may be entering into a new stage of childhood and will soon have the dentition to prove it. This can also be a fantastic opportunity to establish your child's dental care needs and plan a prevention of future conditions or poor teeth alignment. Therefore, it may be best not to leave it till later, no matter how frightened your child seems of the dental chair. Here's everything you should do to prepare your little one for their first appointment.
Parents' Moods Are Infectious
A first dental visit can be intimidating for young children because they fear both the unknown and the use of daunting equipment. The prospect of letting a stranger invade their personal space and the vulnerability of the required position often inspires mistrust in children. Between the ages of 3 to 6, a child's first dentist experience is likely to depend strongly on their parents' attitude.
You will need to protect your child from sensing your own apprehension. You may want to first take your child with you on one of your routine checkups. Make sure to provide ample positive commentary about your experience. Between this first exposure and your child's first appointment, you should frequently mention dental visits as part of your health routine. The more serene you seem about the experience, the more comfortable your child is likely to be.
Schedules Can Make The Difference
The occurrences surrounding your child's first dental appointment are likely to influence their perception of the experience itself. If you were stressed about being late, had to pull them from school early or they had to miss an after-school activity to attend, your child is likely to perceive the whole ordeal as an inconvenience.
Make sure to schedule your child's appointment early in the day so that they can spend the entire day processing their experience and how little it inconvenienced the rest of their activities. Ideally, you can plan a fun post-appointment activity to reward your child for sitting through their first visit. This will make their entire memory of their first appointment day pleasant and even exciting.
A Concluding Note
Planning your child's first dental visit will require you to make them feel comfortable about the upcoming experience. They likely already understand the importance of oral care; however, they can only become genuinely interested if you portray this routine in a positive light. With patience, a joyful attitude, and proper scheduling, you can be confident that your child will become as comfortable in the dental chair as most adults have grown to be.