How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Trip To The Dentist

Introduction:

Taking children to their first dental appointment can be a frighting experience for both the child and the parent.

This article gives advice on how to prepare your child for their first trip to the dentist,in hopes that they will have a positive encounter.

Heading To The Dentist For The First Time Can Be A Froggy Situation For Young Children

Mommys Helper Toothbrush Holders, Froggie and Friend by Mommy's Helper
Mommys Helper Toothbrush Holders, Froggie and Friend by Mommy's Helper

Most Children Are Restless By Nature

Experts say that toddlers who are headed to the dentist for the first time may need a positive influence, such as books that deal with the subject.

Reading books to your child about their upcoming visit gives them a familiar outlook on the procedure.

Letting the child know that a dentist will brush their teeth and then afterwards they will receive a prize at the end creates excitement.

Dentist say the most beneficial resource is books that you can obtain at your public library. Dental books for kids that talk about the first visit and many exciting colored photos of kids sitting in the dental chair give children an example to present. Presenting a positive example for children through books will help them calm down.

It always helps to present a character that your child can relate to my. My children enjoyed the "The Little Critter Stories" By Mercer Mayer.

Just Going To The Dentist, Providing Children With Positive Books About The Dentist Can Ease The Discomfort

Positive Books To Help Prepare Children For Their First Trip To The Dentist. "Mercer Mayers" Just Going To The Dentist
Positive Books To Help Prepare Children For Their First Trip To The Dentist. "Mercer Mayers" Just Going To The Dentist

Present A Character That Your Child Enjoys Reading That Is Experiencing Their First Day At The Dentist

Dentist Also Recommend The Berenstain Bears Book

Some Adults May Have Experienced Awful Encounters At The Dentist

Karen Arnold's photograph of   Louis-Léopold Boilly Portrait of an uncomfortable dental situation.
Karen Arnold's photograph of Louis-LĂ©opold Boilly Portrait of an uncomfortable dental situation. | Source

By Setting A Good Example The Child Will Feel Comfortable To Go Through With Their Check Up

A toy dental set which features a child preparing for a dental check up.
A toy dental set which features a child preparing for a dental check up. | Source

Experts Suggest That You Find A Dentist That You Are Comfortable With

Experts suggest that parents find a dentist that they are comfortable with. Present a time in which your child can join you at your next dental appointment. Children can join their parents to an appointment in which X-rays are taken and teeth are cleaned.

By leading by example this will show the child that there is nothing to fear. Usually when a child sees their parent doing something they want to do it as well; in return the child will climb in the chair and have their teeth examined.


Another Way That Parents Can Prepare Their Child For Their first Dentist Appointment Is By Playfully Shining A Flashlight Into The Child's Mouth

This picture represents a flashlight, which indicates a neat way to gently prepare your child for their first dental visit. By shining a light playfully into the child's mouth.
This picture represents a flashlight, which indicates a neat way to gently prepare your child for their first dental visit. By shining a light playfully into the child's mouth. | Source

Preparing Your Child For The Dentist Office Is Helpful

Experts say that playfully shining a flashlight into the child's mouth demonstrates the dental light that dentist use. For some kids this procedure can be frighting. The thought of having to lie back while someone in a white jacket shines a light in their face can be a bit much for some children. demonstrating the example at home seems to prepare the child in a confident way.

Experts also suggest that parents take their child in for a visit of the practice, which gives the child a visual of the office.

Finding a kid friendly dentist is important. Offices that provide games and movies presents a child like atmosphere. Most dentist also recommend that you stay with the child during the appointment. This also reduces restlessness and the need to fight out of anxiety.

Be Honest With Your Child In A Positive light

A young toddler affraid of the dentist office due to a lack of knowledge
A young toddler affraid of the dentist office due to a lack of knowledge | Source

Please Don't Use The Following Words Prior To Taking Your Child To Their First Dental Visit

Doctors ask that you refrain from using the following words before your child's doctor visit:

  1. Shot
  2. Pull
  3. Drill
  4. Hurt
  5. Ouch

If your child has questions experts suggest that parents should do their best to answer the questions in a positive manner.

Appointment times usually last about 20 to 25 minutes.

What You Should Explain To Your Child

1. The Dentist Will Count Your Teeth

2. The Dentist Will Polish Your Teeth

3. And in Some Cases The Dentist May Take X-Rays Of Your Teeth.

In times like this older brother and sisters can play a helpful role by telling their siblings about what to expect, however older children and parents may want to leave out any experience which involves cavities or shots.

In Conclusion: Stay Positive

A picture of a toothbrush topped with toothpaste represents good brushing methods.
A picture of a toothbrush topped with toothpaste represents good brushing methods. | Source

My Kids Are Motivated To Brush Their Teeth Due To Fun Colorful Toothbrushes

Parents Should Explain To Their Children That Going To The Dentist Is A Part Of Growing Up.

Parents should explain the importance of brushing and taking great care of your teeth.

Children who go to the dentist regularly have fewer cavities and need less treatment throughout their lifetime.

Resource:

whattoexpect.com/grooming/toddler-teeth-care/landing.aspx

The Taking My Child To The Dentist Poll

Does Your Child Enjoy Going To The Dentist?

  • No!
  • Yes! Due to understanding, my child enjoys going to the dentist.
See results without voting

Going To The Dentist-An Educational Video

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11 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The dentist often scares children and adults your ideas are so helpful.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Good stuff here, we brought our littlest to the dentist several times before a checkup and that did the trick.


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks DDE! I'm glad this was helpful!


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona Author

Good stuff Eric, you're ahead of the game!


taiwokareem profile image

taiwokareem 2 years ago from Salford

this is a very useful hub. I don't have kids but they are good ideas that would work out well. i love those images as well especially the cruel dentist (karen arnold's photo). Voted up and shared.


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks Taiwokareem! Its always great to hear from you! Thanks for the vote up!


taiwokareem profile image

taiwokareem 2 years ago from Salford

My pleasure swilliams


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Voted "up". Great info. Now, how do you make college-aged children keep going? :) BTW, my dentist has this quote on the bathroom mirror. "You don't have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep." I love it.


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona Author

Lol! I love that quote! Yes, keeping college aged children in touch with the dentist can be tough job! Thanks for your feedback Iris! It's always good to hear from you!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

my boy is eight years old , he has 4 cavity teeth, all are blackened but not shaking a bit either, firm. Does he need to pull out the cavitiy teeth?


swilliams profile image

swilliams 22 months ago from Arizona Author

Hi Peachpurple! Your son may have (ETCD) Early Childhood Tooth Decay. This condition could be caused by frequent and long exposures to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. Children who have ETCD often feel a lot of pain, they are unable to eat well, and may lose their teeth earlier than expected. If this is the case, you should take your son in to see a kid-friendly dentist as soon as possible. You should notice a positive change afterwards.

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