As parents ourselves, we know that children need a positive start to encourage a lifetime of good oral health habits.Your child’s first dental visit is a big event, and it takes a caring, compassionate team of professionals to help your little one feel comfortable and safe during this exciting step in their development.
Your Attitude Makes All the Difference
Of course, you have to do your part, and half the battle is just getting them to the dentist. It’s understandable if you feel apprehensive about this all-important first visit. If you’re like most of us, you may even be more anxious than your child.
Basically, we just want to protect our kids. Many of us carry the burden of dental anxiety that started with a negative experience early in our lives. It’s almost a reflex – you think about the dentist, and you get that little clutch of tension in your stomach.
If that sounds familiar, then you probably feel twice as anxious when it comes to arranging your child’s first visit. This is okay if you keep it to yourself, but it’s a different story if your child gets a whiff of your anxiety. Suddenly, they’re fearful because they sense that Mom or Dad is upset.
Reducing Stress for You and Your Child
Calm Down – At Smiles by Dr. Kaplansky, we’ve got your back. We are a team of child and parent-friendly professionals who understand the challenge of first-time visits for both you and your kids. You can reduce your anxiety significantly by choosing a dental team that respects your concerns and is willing to address your child’s specific needs.
Keep it Simple - When talking to your child about to expect on the first visit, avoid detailed or negative information, because the last thing you want to do is confuse or frighten them. Focus on the positive aspects of going to the dentist and avoid any description of pain (i.e. the use of sharp tools.)
Keep it Positive – Avoid speaking negatively or complaining about visiting to the dentist in front of your child. You’d be surprised what little ears pick up, especially when you think they’re not listening.
Make it Fun – Prepare your child by going online or to the library to check out educational videos or books. Choose colorful, fun stories that talk about dental visits from a child’s perspective. Playing pretend is also a fun way to put a positive spin on the experience. Encourage some role-play to demonstrate what happens during the first visit.
Your concerns are valid, but nobody said a child’s first trip to the dentist needs to be stressful for either of you. Dr. Kaplansky and our team are gentle with your child, especially when we see that they are reluctant about being part of the process.
Ultimately, your child’s oral health is our top priority, and this important visit must be positive for them. If it’s time for your child’s first visit, and you’re apprehensive, please contact our office. We will be happy to sit down and talk to you to lessen your concerns.