Let’s be honest: going to the dentist is tough enough for adults, so it isn’t surprising kids are similarly uneasy with the whole exercise as well.
While part of this is due to us projecting our insecurities onto our children, dentist offices are sterile environments filled with the uncomfortable whines of drills, so even the most comfortable parents will have issues introducing their kids to this place.
If you neglect to prepare them and they have a bad time the first time they go, future trips will be as fun as ripping a hang nail from your index finger.
Thanks to dentists such as Dr. Kami Hoss, though, there are dentist practices kids actively look forward to visiting.
As SoCal’s most popular family dental clinic, The Super Dentists managed to marry fun interior design, explanatory comics in reception, and specially trained staff together to create an environment where kids are instantly comfortable.
If you aren’t lucky enough to be close to this facility, there are several things you can do to make your child’s first dentist trip a positive one.
In this post, we’ll run down how to ensure this landmark visit goes as smoothly as possible.
1) Get it over with as soon as possible
The sooner a child is introduced to something, the quicker they will be able to normalize it as part of their routine. The same goes for going to the dentist, as unlikely as that sounds.
If you wait until they are older, they are more likely to go into the situation with fear in their hearts, as their mind will have developed enough to do that.
Soon after they blow out the candle on their first birthday cake or once they have their first tooth, take them in for their inaugural appointment.
2) Watch what you say beforehand
When your kids are little, anything you say can be taken quite literally. Accordingly, the words you use prior to their first appointment will shape whether they get through it fine or end up breaking out in tears.
Instead of being brutally honest as some parents are wont to do, describe the work dentists do in cartoonish detail. Some paint them as sugar bug hunters, so go with that if you are creatively challenged.
Avoid any words associated with pain, as many children make the connection between pain they feel and the words that describe them early in life. As such, using them will make a dentist appointment more difficult, not easier.
3) Schedule a pre-appointment meet and greet with the dentist
Before your kid goes in for their first dentist appointment, arrange a meeting between them and the professionals that will work on their teeth.
Doing this will humanize them, allowing a bond of trust to be forged between them and your child. If this can be achieved, any procedures done will go more smoothly as a result of this step.
By discussing what they do in terms understandable and relatable to children, this tip is one every parent should act upon before putting their kid in a dentist’s chair for the first time.