As a parent, you rejoice at the first tooth that erupts in your baby’s mouth. In the months and years that follow, you will begin to teach your toddler about the importance of dental care as part of their daily grooming. Your child’s first dental visit sets the stage for a lifetime of good care. Dental experts recommend taking your child in for his or her first appointment with a pediatric dentist before the age of one year. You can make this new experience easier by do a bit of preparation in advance of the visit.
Familiarize Your Child With the Concept of Dental Care
You should be brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts with a baby toothbrush and a bit of non-fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Even at a very young age, you can talk about how important it is to keep teeth clean, and you can let your child watch as you brush and floss your own teeth.
Maintain A Positive Attitude
If you have your own concerns about going to the dentist, try to overcome the feelings and look for all the positive things about good dental care and convey them to your child. Dental care is a good thing that helps to maintain general health, keeps you looking attractive and allows you to speak well and get good nutrition.
Take Your Child Along For Your Own Dental Visits
A preliminary visit to the dentist will help to familiarize your child with the dental office environment and make it less scary. If your child can watch you get a teeth cleaning, he or she will be able to understand that a dental procedure is not something to fear.
Use Stories To Make Going To The Pediatric Dentist A Positive Event
Parents can find a number of books and video geared toward introducing young children to the benefits of dental care. Reading about and watching other children get routine dental care helps make it a familiar experience that everyone does, so there’s no need to be afraid.
Play and Imitation Can De-Mystify Dental Care
Imitating what a dentist does during a dental visit using dolls and stuffed animals helps to make the actions more familiar. You may even find your child “examining” a toy’s teeth on their own is a sign that they are internalizing the activities and will be more open to having these experiences themselves.
Choose A Good Time For Your Child’s First Pediatric Dentist Visit
Try to arrange an appointment time when your child will be most accepting of a new experience. Usually, this time is after a nap or after eating, when the child feels comfortable and cheerful. These conditions can help to alleviate fears and create a happier experience.
Developing a relationship with a skilled pediatric dentist is the first step for good dental health throughout life. Taking the time to create a good experience will ensure good dental care is always a part of your child’s general healthcare.