Preparing Your Child For Their First Visit To The Dentist

Dental care should begin as early in life as possible. In fact, it can begin before a baby even starts cutting their teeth. Once their teeth have started to come in, it is time to begin taking them to the dentist. This can be a scary thing for children because this is a completely new situation to them, and they are unsure of what is going to happen. Before you take your child for their first dental appointment, here are some things you can do to prepare them so they will not be afraid. 

Talk About Dental Care

Talk to your child about their teeth and why it is important that they maintain proper oral hygiene and have regular visits to the dentist. Let them know why they need to keep their teeth healthy and teach them how to brush, floss and use mouthwash. Let them look at their smile in a mirror so they can see how nice their teeth are, and tell them how great they look. This will help to encourage them to take care of their teeth.

Talk About Their Fears

Your child is likely going to be nervous about their first visit to the dentist. Encourage them to talk to you about why they are afraid. Answer any questions that they may have, and make sure that they know you will be with them the entire time. If they want to take a toy or something else for security, don't discourage them. Do whatever it takes to help ease their fears, because you want them to establish a lifelong relationship with proper dental care. Tell them what is going to take place during their first dental appointment and explain some of the dental terms that they will hear in the office in a way that they can understand. You may even want to take them for a pre-visit, so they can get to know the staff ahead of time, which will help make them less nervous.

Ease Their Fears Through Play

When you make games out of things, children will be more apt to want to take part. Get them ready for the dentist by playing "dentist" with them. Let them be the dentist, practicing on their dolls or stuffed toys. Then they can be the patient, and you can pretend to be the dentist. Use toothbrushes, flashlights, dental floss, etc. so they can get an idea of what the real thing is like. You can also get your child a Play Doh dentist set, and they can play at examining teeth.

For more information, contact a business such as Belconnen Dental Centre.