Doing something for the first time can be a stressful event, whether you are a child or an adult. The fear of the unknown may be more powerful than what is actually going to happen, creating undue stress. This is especially true for children going through so many things for the first time. They tend to take their cues from their parents, but there could be a variety of things that might trigger a negative response.
How did it go with the first haircut or first evening with a baby sitter? Success? There are a variety of things you can do to calm your child before going through something for the first time. This includes going to their first dental appointment. But what if your child doesn’t feel like aspects of the appointment are that new? Then the fear of the unknown won’t exist.
Here are 4 ways to put your child at ease before their first dental appointment:
- Take them to the dental office before their appointment. Let them see where they are going, and get used to the sights and smells associated with the office. At Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, they can meet our office staff, who will help them feel at ease. Our pediatric center has many fun options for children prior to appointments (or those waiting for siblings), so your child might gravitate to one of those options right away. They will see that the dentist’s office is a fun place to be. If they have older siblings, they may have been to the dentist’s office already.
- Talk to them about what to expect during their first appointment. During that first dental appointment, we will count their teeth and teach them how to keep them healthy. They will get to sit in a ‘fun’ chair like mom or dad’s ‘comfy’ chair. If there are older siblings, you can remind them that they are getting to be a big boy or girl like their sister or brother.
- Remind them about the appointment the day of it. “Remember the fun tooth doctor office we went to? We get to go back today and YOU get to sit in the comfy chair!” Tell them that their teeth will be counted. Maybe you can help them count their teeth before the appointment and turn it into a counting game.
- Grab their favorite blankie or toy. Do they have a favorite go-to blanket or toy when they get stressed? Bring it with you just in case. We have “comfort buddies” here, but your child might feel better with something they are used to.
Giving your child the tools they need to be at ease in potentially difficult situations is a wonderful gift to give them that they can use throughout their life. Since they will face so many new situations in their young lives, it is never too early to start. Why not let their first dentist appointment be one of those positive situations?
At Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, we provide parents with the peace of mind that their children’s dental needs will be taken care of, while making sure our young patients are at ease. Whether it is their first visit when they are one year old or their umpteenth visit as they become teenagers, we will continue to guide them so they grow up to have healthy teeth throughout their adult lives.
Call to Action: Stop in to see our two convenient locations in Naperville and Plainfield/Shorewood. Contact us today at 630-848-7336 in Naperville or 815-577-7336 in Shorewood to get 88% off pediatric new patient visits for a limited time. Learn how we can help your toddler continue to develop good dental habits and keep their teeth strong and healthy as they get older. We accept most insurances and evening and weekend appointments are available.