Regular visits to the dentist are important for good oral health. If you have a child, you likely want the best for their future oral condition, and this is why it’s important to set your dental visits up for success so that you don’t scar your kid for life and make them hate visiting the dentist. Have a look at five ways in which you can prepare for your child’s first-ever dentist appointment.
Find a Good Dentist
The first step to take when preparing for your child’s first dental appointment is to find a good pediatric dentist. Ask friends and family for referrals so you can easily find someone your circle has had direct experience with. You will likely enjoy a straightforward event. Check online for dentists near you as well, making sure to read their reviews so you know whether the majority of the people who have worked with them have left satisfied or if they have had issues. Do this early enough, since it’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics that you take your child to see an orthodontist by the time they’re seven years old.
Complete Any Paperwork You May Have
After finding a dentist and scheduling the appointment, you may be briefed on some of the forms you need to have with you when you go to the dentist. Print them if necessary and fill them out so that the appointment is straightforward for you. If your child has special needs or if they are on any medication, have their doctor provide you with forms to fill that the dentist may like to see in order for them to know how to handle you and your child.
Prepare Your Child Mentally
Your child’s first dental visit is likely to be a success if the visit is not a surprise to your child. Find a way to let them know about the coming visit, whether it’s by reading them stories or watching children’s videos on oral care with them. If you’re up to the task, you can even find a game or an activity for them to do which will help them get an idea of what to expect when they get to the dentist’s office. With about 20% of the population having a bite that’s not ideal, you will be glad to catch anything of the sort by paying your dentist a visit with your child early enough.
It’s important to be patient with your child as they prepare for their first visit to the dentist. They may be apprehensive at the moments leading up to the visit because they don’t know what to expect. They may even throw a tantrum as it’s a new experience that they’re being prepared for, so understand this and find gentle ways to deal with it. The last thing you want is to arrive for your child’s dental appointment with a child that’s already extremely aggravated as they won’t be easy to examine and care for at the dentist’s office.
Read Up on Potential Scenarios
The final tip is to prepare yourself by glossing over potential scenarios. Find resources online about what to do and how to handle different situations and news. This way, it will be possible to stay cool and have a successful visit with your child’s dentist. Do this and be happy about the fact that your child is not about to be a part of the 23% of children aged between two and 11 years old that have never been to the dentist, as shared by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Use the five tips above to successfully prepare for your child’s first dentist appointment and you will be likely to have a successful one, or at least be prepared to handle the outcome.