Child's First Visit
Your child's first dental visit should and can be fun!
It is a good idea to acclimate your infant to dental care by wiping his or her gums with a clean, wet cloth after feeding. By the age of two, all of an infant's teeth are usually visible. Parents should continue cleaning teeth with a clean wash cloth or guaze pad.
When your child is about 1000 days old (3 months before their 3rd birthday), generate excitement about how they will soon have their 3rd birthday and they get to go to the dentist on their birthday. This child will then associate the visit to the dentist as a special treat just like their birthday. So plan to schedule a "meet the dentist visit" on their birthday with Mom and Dad! The first visit is a fun adventure where the child rides in the chair, has his teeth counted, and has his teeth polished.
One of our prime objectives is to make your child a good dental patient who will be able to accept routine dental treatment. This process must begin at home prior to the first visit. Listed are some suggestions to guide you.
Dental visits are part of growing up. Please do not indicate in any way that there is anything to fear.
At subsequent visits you might not tell your child about the visit until the day of the visit as you should be making the point that they are no big deal and not even worth mentioning.
If your child requires more information, you can explain that the doctor will look at his teeth to make sure they are healthy.
Make appointment days easy and try to see that your youngster is well-rested.
Don't threaten a visit to the dentist as punishment for misbehavior.
Your child, with your cooperation, can become an excellent dental patient with a healthy mouth and a pretty smile.
Pointers for Parents
- DON'T bribe your child to go to the dentist or threaten a visit as punishment. This could result in lifelong negative attitudes.
- DON'T let your child be aware of any anxiety you may feel about his or her dental visit or your own visits.
- DON'T let others tell your child frightening stories about dental visits. Explain to the child that they should ignore scary stories of other children and adults and depend on you and the dentist for information.
- DO make dental visits a fun adventure for your child.
- DO be prepared to let your child go into the treatment room alone.
- DO remember that your POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND EXAMPLE in all dental health matters will be the most important factor in how your child will respond to this experience.