You may be nervous about taking your child to the dentist for the first time. Given how common it is to be afraid of going to the dentist, providing your child positive associations can be difficult.
It’s understandable for anyone to be bothered by a stranger sticking tools in their mouth. And lying to your kid about where they’re going could certainly make things worse.
So how do you prepare your child for a visit to the Elizabethtown pediatric dentist?
It’s important that your child be informed about what happens at a dentist appointment. And there are even ways to make it more interesting and fun for them. Keep reading to learn more.
When to Schedule First Visit
You can schedule your child’s first to the pediatric dentist in Elizabethtown as early as 10 months if you’d like. You may even decide to go earlier than that.
Anytime around their first birthday is generally recommended for their first appointment.
Whatever time you decide to bring your child for their first dentist visit, make sure it’s the right time. You want their tummy to be full, their brain to be rested and calm, and their mood to be curious and playful.
Make It Exciting
To reduce any fear your child might have about visiting the dentist, dedicate some time to make the experience exciting and fun.
The earlier you can begin building positive associations about dentistry, the easier it will be for your child to understand that it’s safe and healthy.
You can start reading children’s books about going to the dentist. Or, you can let your child play pretend as the dentist while you’re the patient.
Activities like these will foster curiosity in your kid and make the dentist seem like a cool place.
Explain the Process
You can also explain what will happen at the dentist. You can make it into a puppet show or a fantastical story.
If you’re not sure what the process is like for young children, don’t be afraid to call your kid’s dentist in Elizabethtown, KY.
Typically, the best pediatric dentist will perform a full exam of your child’s teeth, jaw, and gums. They will also check to see if they have an overbite or underbite.
For the most part, the dentist is monitoring the development of your child’s teeth.
It’s normal to feel nervous about going to a strange place and meeting strange people. If your child is feeling anxious or scared, encourage them to bring a comfort item.
A favorite blanket or stuffed animal can help them to feel safe as they experience a new place. Their stuffed animal can even be the dentist’s first patient if your child is reluctant to sit in the chair.
Or, if they have an older sibling who has been to the dentist before, watching the older child’s appointment can qualm any fears your younger child might’ve had. Plus, it helps that your young kid wants to copy their older sibling.
It’s Okay to Cry
It’s okay to cry at the Elizabethtown dentistry for children. Going to the dentist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience.
There are likely weird sensations happening in your child’s mouth for the first time, in addition to talking to new people in a strange room.
Sometimes, the best way through tough emotions like fear is to let it out. Taking time to cry can even help restore your child’s emotional equilibrium.
Every pediatric dentist has seen kids cry in the chair. They likely have their own tactics to help your child feel calmer.
Let Them Ask Questions
Just as you probably have lots of questions to ask the dentist, your child probably has a few, too. This is especially important as they get a bit older and start talking and having conversations.
Give them time to ask any questions they might have. Even if the questions seem silly or unnecessary, it’s one way your child can develop trust with their dentist.
And you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of time for you to ask your questions. Keeping your child’s mouth healthy means you should continue the dental care at home, and your dentist can help guide you through that process.
If you’re not sure what questions to prioritize, you can check out this list of important questions to ask your Elizabethtown kid’s dentist.
After your child’s first dentist appointment, the doctor may offer some suggestions for caring for your child’s teeth at home.
Depending on your child’s age, your dentist may offer different bottle-feeding or nursing techniques, or pacifier use. Obviously, they will also likely provide brushing and flossing guidance.
Any information your kid’s dentist offers you is ultimately to maintain or improve the oral health of your child.
Find Dentist You Can Trust
Before you bring your child to any dentist’s office, make sure you find a pediatric dentist that you and your child can trust.
They should be professional, friendly, and empathetic. Some dentists who work primarily with adults are not the best option for children.
Best Elizabethtown Pediatric Dentist
There are lots of things you can do to prepare your child for their first visit to the Elizabethtown pediatric dentist.
If all goes well, the dentist may become your child’s new favorite place. It’ll be especially exciting when they get to take home a toy after every visit.
When you’re ready to find the best dentist for your kid, you can learn more about what we do right here on our page.