Your child’s very first dental visit should be early in life. In fact, she should see the dentist within six months after her first tooth has come in, but before her first birthday. Ideally, you should not wait until your child has a toothache or another dental emergency before bringing her in. Regular dental visits, starting at an early age will make the dentist’s office seem less mysterious, and make your child more comfortable about her visit.
You can reduce dental anxiety in your child by talking with her about her upcoming appointment, and discussing her fears or concerns. You should ask the dentist about bringing your child in before her appointment to meet the dentist and the staff, and to see the office. The dentist can also explain to your child what will happen during the appointment. You might want to read books and watch videos with your child about going to the dentist.
It is important that you don’t reinforce any negative ideas. For example, don’t tell your child that the dental procedure “won’t hurt.” Instead, explain to her that the dentist is going to clean her teeth and give her a bright smile. Don’t use a trip to the dentist as a threat, or treat it as if it is a punishment.
On the day of the appointment, if your child seems to be a little anxious, let her bring a small toy, a stuffed animal, or a favorite blanket along. You can also talk to the dentist about remaining in the room with your child during the exam. In some cases, it might be possible for you to hold your child on your lap in the exam chair; but talk with the dentist before your visit.
If it is time for your child’s first visit to the dentist, or for her regular cleaning and checkup, give us a call today. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Carla LaLande would love to meet your family. If you live in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area and would like to make an appointment at Children's Dental Care & Orthodontics, give us a call today at 702-254-8858.