Both parents and your child’s pediatric dentist play a major role in shaping your child’s first dental experience and their overall view of going to the dentist. As a parent, if you have any sort of dental anxiety, that will be picked up on from your child. Making sure your child feels comfortable and excited about the dentist is one of the easiest ways to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of great oral health. If your child has any dental fear, here are some ways to help ease your child’s fears:
Your child should have their first pediatric dentist appointment as soon as they get their first baby tooth, which can be as early as six months old. They should also come to the dentist no later than their first birthday. The earlier your child come to their first children’s dentist appointment, the more comfortable they will be throughout their life.
When you set the standard that your child will be seeing their pediatric dentist every six months at an early age, your child will come to accept this as a normal activity that you do to maintain their healthy smile. You can help them realize this by letting them know that in order to keep eating their favorite foods, this is essential.
Majority of children have a short attention span, but they will also remember words like “pain” or “scared” or “shot”. While we do recommend talking to your child about what to expect during their first dental appointment, it’s important not to use words that could scare them. As an example, you don’t need to go into details about how a children’s dentist fills a cavity or what happens when you have tooth decay as it may not be relevant to them.
Children will envision their first time at the dentist office in their head once they know they will be going, this will help them understand and prepare for their visit. Before they come into the pediatric dentist office, it may be helpful to play with them what will happen at their appointment and act out how the pediatric dentist will examine their teeth.
Not all dentists are the same, a pediatric dentist will have extra schooling to treat babies and children. A children’s dentist will focus on the importance of making your child feel comfortable during their dental appointment. A pediatric dental office will often times have toys, games, or movies in their waiting room to help children feel more comfortable.
Even the most prepared and brave child will probably still fuss or whine during their first pediatric dentist appointment. It’s totally normal for your child to have a meltdown in a new environment while they’re getting examined by a total stranger.
At All Star Dental, our pediatric dentists have years of experience with children and will go to extra lengths to make sure they enjoy coming to the dentist. All of our offices in Chicago, IL specialize in children’s dentistry and have playrooms to make sure that as soon as your child walks in, they realize this isn’t a scary place. For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment, you can call any of our five locations in Chicago or contact us directly on our website.