How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Visit to the Dentist

Saturday, March 05, 2016

     That dreaded time may be approaching you and your little one. It may soon be the moment that your toddler is finally ready to see a dental hygienist or surgeon. All the other tantrums that you may have experienced until now may pale in comparison to this particular instance. 

     You can hardly blame your child. You, after all, are probably not exactly the biggest fan of your dental expert either. Yet the fact still remains that it is now time for your child to get their teeth looked at by a dentist for a checkup. All is not lost, however. There are still ways that you can prepare your little one for their big day.

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Visit to the Dentist 
Play Pretend 

     The first thing you should do to ease this process is to introduce your child to the concept of dentistry. The best way to do this is by playing a game. You can take on the role of dental surgeon and walk your little one through the process. This will make it less alien to them when they are finally taken to the clinic. Make the game as fun as possible and maybe even give your child a sticker at the end. This will frame this particular experience as being positive for your child. They will go to the clinic with an open mind rather than being afraid. 


     With a little bit of research, you can find plenty of cartoon clips that will feature a trip to a dental hygienist. Use these to reinforce the idea of fun that you have already associated with dentistry. Use popular cartoon characters to detail what the experience at a clinic will feel like. Follow this up with a narrative for your child. Point out to things on the screen and tell them that they will likely see that during their own trip to the clinic. 

Toys and Distractions

     The best way to not instill any fear in your child is to distract them right up until they have to meet with the dental hygienist. You can do this with toys, coloring books, and stuffed animals. You should always remember to pack these things with you when you go to the clinic. This will ensure that your child does not feel nervous as they wait with you in the waiting room. They will be, instead, preoccupied with the toys that you have brought. It is common amongst adults as well to get worked up right before the big moment. The best way to prepare your child to meet with the dental surgeon is to keep them calm. They will walk into the exam room with a much more relaxed and open demeanor. This will make the whole process so much easier for all involved. 

     Going to the dentist with your child does not have to mean the end of the world. As a parent, you are in charge of framing this whole experience for them. This will affect how they view dental hygiene now as well as when they are much older. This is why you owe it to them to make it as positive and interesting as possible.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the informative post Miss Kath. Will keep these and do it for my 3 year-old son:)


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