It’s an exciting milestone when your child’s first tooth emerges. Soon there are a few more, signifying healthy growth. But it also signifies something else. As soon as your child’s teeth appear, it’s also time to start thinking about oral health. And keeping those newly emerged teeth healthy means scheduling the very first dental appointment. Great oral health habits into adulthood start with great first childhood experiences with the dentist. Here’s how you can prepare your children for their first dental visit.
Read a Book About Visiting the Dentist
Children’s stories have a magical way of explaining concepts to small children. They incorporate age-appropriate language and images to both captivate and inform.
Before your child’s first dental visit, look for books about dentists online, at your local bookstore, or at the library. Read the book a few times and talk to your child about what the character experiences at the dentist’s office.
Brush Their Teeth with Them
You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth. If you haven’t already started this habit, now is the time to get your child used to having their teeth cleaned.
Gently brush their teeth twice a day and talk to them about how it’s important to clean their teeth. This will help them feel comfortable about having their teeth and mouth touched and reinforce the importance of going to the dentist.
Let Them Choose a Special Toy or Stuffed Animal
Going to the dentist can make some children feel scared or anxious, but many children have special toys that they cuddle with to help them calm down.
Allow your child to choose a toy or stuffed animal that they can take to their first dental visit to hold. They can cuddle with it in the car and in the waiting room. You can also call your dentist to see if your child can take the toy back with them for their appointment.
Explain the Schedule Change to Your Child
Young children love routines. They get used to doing similar things at the same times each day. Going to the dentist may disrupt this routine and upset your child.
Prepare your child several days in advance that they will be going to the dentist, especially if you plan to pick them up from daycare or childcare at a different time. Remind them each day, so they know what to expect.
Children’s Dentistry at Amber Dental
If you have childhood dentistry questions about how to prepare your kids for their first dental visit, don’t hesitate to contact our office. You can also learn more about the children’s dentistry services we offer.