Four Tips To Make Your Child's First Dental Visit A Positive Experience
Children should see a dentist by the time of their first birthday or when the first tooth emerges, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists. The following four tips, along with choosing an experienced dentist that has previously worked with young children, can help you prepareso that your child's first visit is a positive experience.
Tip #1: Come Prepared
As a new patient, you will need to fill in dental and medical history forms upon arrival. You will need to bring all the necessary information to fully complete this paperwork, along with any insurance cards. Many dental offices now allow you to fill out the new patient forms in advance, so you can schedule a time to stop by and do it before the appointment. This can save you the trouble of balancing both a small child and clipboard in the office.
Tip #2: Enlist Help
The first appointment is a key time to ask questions and get the information you need to ensure your child is off to a healthy dental start. It can be difficult to talk with the dentist after their exam if you have a fussy or active child. Try and bring someone with you to manage the child while you speak with the dentist. A caregiver known to your child, such as a spouse, grandparent, or babysitter, is preferred.
Tip #3: Bring Your Own Entertainment
Dentists that specialize in pediatric dentistry tend to have fun waiting rooms, but you will still want to bring some of your child's favorite travel toys along. If the child is nervous in a new environment, a few comforting items from home can help set them at ease. Small toys and books you can read together work especially well, and they won't over-stimulate your child before they go into the exam room.
Tip #4: Take Notes
Bring a notepad and pen along with you to the exam. You can jot any questions you have leading up to the appointment into the notepad so you don't forget to ask them after the exam. You will also need to take note of any advice or recommendations provided by the dentist. Your dentist at a place like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc will likely show you some tricks to properly brushing the emerging new teeth in your child's mouth, along with some advice that pertains specifically to your child's dental health.
Remember, never talk badly about dentists or say anything to make a dentist seem scary in front of your child. Young children can pick up on their parents' fears, which can make them unnecessarily nervous at the dentist's office. Instead, be upbeat about dental care and visits to help encourage a good first impression for your child. You can further help prepare your child for this first visit by spending time daily gently brushing their gums with an infant toothbrush, so they won't be as nervous when the dentist looks in their mouth during the exam.