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How to Prepare For Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist

Two weeks ago, I had swollen gums and it was kinda painful. I soaked that gum area in mouthwash after brushing my teeth. It was relieved a little bit but it was telling me that I needed to go to the dentist. I went to the dentist as soon as I can and had my teeth cleaned. In a day or two, the pain was gone.

I'm lucky to have good teeth and it was because my father often took me to the dentist and I learned to brush my teeth regularly. I want my kids to have healthy teeth, too. If you have kids like me, you should also take them to the dentist beginning at an early age.

Children are more prone to tooth decay compared to the adults. So, getting your child to a pediatric dentist can be a good indication that he/she would have proper dental health. The dentist would help the kids prevent tooth decay and develop healthy oral habits right from an early age.

Developing good oral habits while they're young would mean that they are likely to carry them out throughout their growing years. The first dental visit for the child is important. Parents get to learn,  too, because a dentist would encourage the parents to monitor the dental habits of the child. Are the kids brushing their teeth right? What foods should the kids eat and not eat? What else do the kids need to take care of their teeth - teeth cleaning, fluoride, sealant, etc.?

Before taking your child to a dentist, you should look for a dentist who can provide the best dental care to your child. A good children's dentist should be able to build rapport with the child so that he/she will not be afraid to go to dental checkups. Here are some things you should do to prepare for your child's visit the dentist.

1. Find a good dentist

The nature and behavior of the dentist towards your child can have a significant impact upon the child. While you can search for a dentist using the web, how do you know if you found the right dentist? It's not as easy as it sounds or looks.

The first consideration when finding a dentist for kids is to look get recommendations from your family and friends. Your pediatrician may also be able to help you find a good dentist. If there are several dentists in your community, take time to visit and see. Find out if the dentist has a child-friendly environment. Of course, you should also get to know about the experience and knowledge of the dentist.

2. Tell your kid in advance about the visit.

Once you have taken an appointment, consult the dentist about what should be expected during your child's visit. Your discussion with the dentist can help you determine how you should prepare your kid for the appointment. Never surprise your child with a visit to the dentist. In general, children do not like visiting the dentist and feel uncomfortable. So, you should prepare your child for the visit. Tell your child how visiting a dentist is a good thing. Maybe read a story book about a child visiting the dentist. This will help reduce the anxiety of your kids.

3. Anticipate how your child will react to the dentist.

In the first visit, the dentist usually simply takes a look at the gums, jaw and existing teeth of the child to check for any problem. It's usually short and non-threatening. But if necessary, the dentist will also clean the teeth. If there are issues, the pediatric dentist may even suggest a dental X-ray. Then, the dentist will tell you and your kid what he/she should do to observe proper dental care.

Here are some tips to make the first dental visit go smoothly. If your child has an older sibling, let him/her have the dental check-up first. The little one will be less afraid when it's his/her turn. If it would help your child stay calm, sit with him/her on the dental chair while the dentist does the check-up.  Or if he/she has a favorite toy, bring it along.

After the Check-Up

Do not forget to ask the dentist when your child should re-visit him. Kids need to visit a dentist twice a year unless there are dental issues to take care of. Also, make sure that you get the dentist's contact information. In case of emergencies, you can give the dentist a call for advise or setting of appointment.

Keep in mind that children follow the grown-ups. Whatever good habits the adults possess, the children will follow it. So, be sure to be a good example and observe proper dental habits and maintain hygiene. Your children will follow you.

A child first starts learning at home. If the right oral habits are inculcated in the child from a young age, he/she will follow it till his adulthood.


annies home said…
great post and also reminder that children do what they see so it is important as adults to lead good examples
Unknown said…
I remember when I was young I was crying when I go to visit dentist
Fatima D Torres said…
I'm terrified of taking our eldest. He isn't the easiest to pin down, but he should be fine. You just inspired me to book an appointment for our boys. I've been holding back on this. Thank you!
Ronnie said…
Great tips! Finding a kind and patient dentist is also key. My first dentist was a nightmare and I would cry just out of fear of returning there.
I have had the same dentist since I was 4! Finding the right one really is a blessing.
Clair said…
This is a great list! We are very fortunate to have an awesome pediatric dentist. My older two have adjusted well with their dental visits. Bringing my youngest in the next week. Hoping she does well!
Chin chin said…
Thank you for reading and to you who left comments. I hope that those who have kids about to visit the dentist will do great.
Unknown said…
These are great tips. I remember how anxious my son was when we first went to the dentist.

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