Many children express trepidation when they find themselves facing their first dental appointment. New experiences can be scary. When these moments happen under a bright light in a dental chair surrounded by unfamiliar utensils, a child’s imagination can make it can feel like a set out of a horror movie.
However, a child’s first-time visit doesn’t have to be one of terror. Like visiting a pediatrician, it should become part of a regular routine to keep them happy and healthy. Below you’ll find four great tips on how to make that first dental appointment less intimidating for your young ones.
Tips for a Stress-Free First Dentist Appointment
Every child is unique. They respond in different ways to different approaches, but combined we’ve found these tips to be the most effective. Try them with your child and pay attention to how they react.
The best results come from parents who pay attention and adapt to what works.
Prepare Ahead of Time
A first-time appointment with the dentist should never be a surprise. Make it a point to let your child know ahead of time what is on the agenda and what to expect.
Your child will likely have many questions regarding what a dentist does and what happens on a first visit. Be patient and answer their questions in a way that’s reassuring.
Reinforce that dentists are good guys, just like doctors, who are there to help them stay healthy. From cleaning their teeth and teaching them how to brush, floss, and care for their oral health, dentists are here to help them grow up with a beautiful, healthy smile.
Share a Book or Show Demonstrating
a Happy Dental Experience
Sometimes a good book or show is the best way to demonstrate what it’s like to go to the dentist before experiencing it first-hand. Programs like Sesame Street have informative, friendly videos you can find on places like YouTube or other free online sources.
Both videos and books are great because they provide visuals as well as familiarity. If you can’t find a source online, check your local library or bookstore.
Make It Feel Positive
Remember, you are your kid’s number one role model. If you consider a visit to the dentist an exciting one, they will, too. Make sure your body language, tone of voice, words, and expressions all allude to your child’s first dentist appointment being a positive experience.
Be their role model in dental hygiene as well, teaching them the proper daily habits and making their oral health a normal part of everyday life.
Offer Comfort in the Face of Fear
Even in spite of all of your efforts, your child may show fear when going into their first appointment. This is okay! Acknowledge their feelings and provide comfort.
You don’t want to dismiss their fears. Address them. If they want to bring a security item like a stuffed animal or blanket, encourage them. The important thing is for your child to feel comfortable.
Book Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
Is it time for your little one’s first dentist appointment? Here at Tag Dental, we offer oral health exams and services for children ranging from infancy through their formative teen years. Our dentistry in Singapore is a CHAS Accredited Clinic who puts emphasis not just on high-quality services, but also encouraging and teaching proactive oral care for our patients.
Contact us to book an appointment.