Before you can prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist you need to prepare yourself. Ideally you already have a dentist that you're happy with. But if you don't or you're concerned about how they will deal with your child you need to check out other dentists in your area.
It is advisable to speak to friends, family and look at the website of potential dentists; they should be professional looking and inviting. You can click here to see a great example of what you should be looking for.
Don't forget to talk to your dentist about bringing your child for their first visit; this will ensure the dentist is ready and reassure you that they will look after your child. The more experience they have with children the better!
Talking To Your Child
Children are curious and highly attuned to your emotional state. If you're anxious about the dentist then there is a good chance that they will be to.
You need to choose a time when you are calm to speak to your child about their impending first dental visit. The best approach is simply to explain to them why looking after your teeth is so important and how the dentist simply takes a look at your teeth to help them stay healthy.
On your first visit the dentist will literally do no more than examine their teeth; it will be over in a few minutes.
The important thing here is to keep talking to your child; it is much harder to fear the dentist if you are aware of what they are going to do and why. This is true regardless of your age.
From the moment your child has their first tooth they should start learning to look after their teeth. You need to get them a fun toothbrush and use a tiny bit of toothpaste. Gently brush their teeth for them to show them how it is done and that it can be fun.
If t helps dance while you're doing it!
If you have older children they can join in to make sure the younger child sees it as fun and not a chore.
Visit With You
Anyone can be nervous when they are going somewhere they have never been before. The best approach is to take them with you to the dentist when you are having a checkup. Be sure to stay calm yourself!
Your child will be able to see everything that is happening and the dentist may even allow them to look at the tools of the trade. All of these things will help to remove any fear; the dentist will seem like a friend and a checkup doesn't seem so bad.
Time Your Visit
You want to take your child for their first visit when you have plenty of spare time. This will ensure that you are not stressed and avoid them picking up on your stress.
You may also want to take a few items with you to keep their mind busy while you're sat in the waiting room. If t helps you can promise them a reward afterwards but it may be best to avoid sugary treats!