Your Child and the Dentist: How to Prep

The first visit to the dentist for a child can be scary. The dental office may appear large and intimidating with loud noises and unusual tools being used. A person wearing a mask, the hygienist or the dentist, may be scary to your child and make them uncomfortable or even too afraid to sit down in the dental chair. As the parent, it is important to choose a dentist that specializes in child dental care as well as prepare your son and daughter for the visit.

Choosing the Right Dentist

Before you can take your child to the dentist, you have to find a pediatric provider. A pediatric dentist will specialize in providing care for young children as well as teenagers. This type of dentist will have two to three additional years of training to focus on the special needs of children’s age groups. The dentist and their team will focus on providing a comfortable and inviting environment for your child, helping to feel at ease during their appointment.

When searching for a dentist, consider the experience they have with children and how the office is set up. Do they have an inviting space with cartoons playing on television and bright drawings on the wall? If they have an office space that is comfortable and caters to children, it will make the visit much more appealing to your child. Find out if the dentist offers rewards or some type of fun incentive for kids. This can also be helpful for your child as they will begin to look forward to visits rather than want to avoid them.

It is also important to find out if you can be present during the checkup. Many kids want their parents by their side and some dentists may not allow parents to come back to the room during a cleaning or treatment.

Preparing for the Visit

Once you have chosen a dentist and your child is old enough to understand going, it can be helpful to prepare them for the visit. Talk to your child about their appointment and explain what will take place. Talk to your child about how the dentist will be counting their teeth and taking pictures to check on how well the teeth are growing. Do not mention any fears you may have or how your child may be afraid in front of them. Always talk positively so they will be ready to go without fear or anxiety.

Never mention the words needles, shots or drills in front of your child. Explain the visit as simple as possible so your child knows what to expect and will not be fearful. Look for books that can be helpful or draw with your child to easily talk about the visit.

The oral health of your child is very important. All parents want their kids to have healthy teeth and gums. Going to the dentist is part of that process. Learn more about quality children’s dental health care by contacting our Chippewa dentists. We are happy to assist with your dental needs, including helping children feel more at ease.