Going to the dentist is usually not on anyone’s list of “fun” things to do, regardless of age. It’s completely normal for a child to fear the dentist. It’s a new and vulnerable experience, filled with loud instruments and friendly strangers wanting to look in your mouth. However, a bad experience can cause your child to fear the dentist for the rest of their life. Your child’s first dental visit can be stressful for both of you. And if your child is stressed, you can become stressed, which then starts a stress cycle.
We’ve put together tips to help your child feel at ease and make their first dental appointment a positive one in their new Dental Home!
4 Ways to Use Your Smile to Reduce Stress
1. Role Play Your First Visit.
Pretending to be a patient and letting your child be the dentist can relieve stress before their visit to the dentist. All you need is a toothbrush and a mirror!
2. Bring a Favorite Item!
Encourage your child to bring their favorite toy, blanket, pillow, or whatever makes them truly happy! Bringing something they are familiar with should help comfort their experience at our dental office.
3. Don’t Complicate Things.
Keep it simple! Try not to include too many details when explaining to your child about their first visit. Doing so will raise more questions.
4. Choose Your Words Carefully
Avoid words that can scare your child. Words such as “shots”, “painful” and “hurt” might insinuate the possibility that those things can occur during their trip to the dentist.
How Can Our Office and Team Help Make Your First Appointment Stress Free?
- We encourage you to bring your child to meet their dentist, walk through the office, and play in the waiting room before their first appointment. This will allow them to associate the dentist with a fun environment and their dentist won’t be a complete stranger during their first appointment.
- We have experienced clinicians trained to treat children and teens, including those with special needs. Our dentists have additional training after the traditional dental school years. This training gave them skills in communicating and understanding child development and psychology.
- We have fun office amenities, activities, games, and movies to distract and entertain your child before seeing the dentist! We will also play their favorite movie of choice while the doctor checks their teeth.
We hope that this helps you feel prepared to bring your child to their first dental appointment. We will partner with you to make your child’s appointment as positive and comfortable as possible. We want to be your Dental Home!