5 Ways to Make Your Child’s First Dentist Visit Fun
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth
From brushing and flossing to regular visits to the dentist, we believe it is important to establish healthy oral hygiene habits as early as possible. At the Tooth Doc, our focus is on making your little one’s visit as stress-free as possible. You, as a parent or caregiver can also encourage a love of dentists (yes, we said love) by turning their first dentist visit into a fun-filled event.
Here are 5 things you can do to make that first visit a fun occasion.
1. Make sure the dentist you choose has a great bedside manner with children.
Some parents insist on taking their children to a pediatric dentist. In theory, this might be a good choice. However, not all pediatric dentists are necessarily the best with children. At The Tooth Doc, we pride ourselves on providing anxiety-free family dentistry. Our team is gentle, and we use positive reinforcement to make sure your little one’s first experience at the dentist is a fun one.
2. Give your child their very own dental report card.
Often parents, without even realizing it, use negative reinforcement when it comes to their child’s oral care. We warn them about all the cavities the dentist will find if they eat too many sweets or don’t brush their teeth twice a day. We tell them their teeth will fall out if they don’t look after them. The result is often a fear of fillings, drills, injections, and scary dentists.
A good way to get your child excited about visiting the dentist is to give him his own report card to show the dentist how well he has been looking after his teeth.
3. Let your child wear their favorite outfit to their first dentist visit.
Why not let your child wear their favorite costume or outfit to the dentist? Whether they are a superhero or a princess, this small gesture could make a world of difference to them, making them feel less nervous and more confident. You could always join in the fun and don your bacteria-busting cape.
You could, if time allows, have special T-shirts printed for the whole family to mark the occasion. “Floss like a boss” and “May the floss be with you” are just two that come to mind.
4. Introduce your little one to Dudley the Dinosaur.
Did you know the American Dental Association has their very own prehistoric ambassador? Dudley the Dinosaur shares different adventures, including his first visit to the dentist. If your child is experiencing pre-visit jitters, introduce them to Dudley. There are also loads of activities and quizzes that can make the waiting room more fun.
5. Be positive about visits to the dentist.
Children mimic their parents’ behavior. So we suggest you be as upbeat and positive about the dentist as possible. If they see that you are nervous and dread regular checkups, they will start feeling the same way too.
A good family dentist will also know how to make your child’s first visit as pleasant as possible. At The Tooth Doc, we have a few tried and tested tricks up our sleeves for anxious little patients—and their parents.
Our dentists take their time to explain what is involved in a checkup and introduce your child to all the different equipment that will be used. To keep their anxiety levels down, they can choose whether they want to sit on your lap during the examination or sit on their own.
To give them a better understanding of what each of the procedures is for, we use Elvis, our very own talking mascot. With our experienced dentists, Elvis answers any concerns you and your child might have.
Elvis also talks about the importance of brushing and flossing, and why you should visit your dentist for regular checkups. We also use positive reinforcement at our practice and make sure our tiny patients are comfortable every step of the way.
Starting That First Dentist Visit Early for Better Results
We believe that one of the easiest ways to get your child excited about the dentist is to start with checkups as early as possible. We suggest booking their first appointment by their first birthday, or no later than six months after their first tooth has come through. This will ensure visits are more about preventative care rather than restorative.
Schedule your appointment for your little one now. We can even schedule one for you too. You can go first and lead by example.