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Tips From A Pediatric Dentist On A Successful First Visit

As a pediatric dentist, we understand the crucial lessons, tips and tricks that we need to share with parents of young patients on a regular basis. Of these, perhaps the most profound lesson is the importance of the first visit a child remembers at the dentist. For a pediatric dentist, the first visit a child makes may not be the first one they remember.

If a parent is following our advice, they will bring their child in immediately after the child’s first birthday or as soon as the child grows their first tooth. This makes a first dental visit critically important. It is important to remember that a person’s memory of the pediatric dentist will not start when they walk in and end when they walk out of our offices. Rather, it will be formed unconsciously before, during, and after their pediatric dentist visit, making you as the parent the most critical component in ensuring that the memory is not a bad one.

MAKE YOUR KIDS FIRST DENTAL VISIT GREAT

Keeping in mind that when visiting the pediatric dentist, the child is coming to a strange new place where he or she will be in an unfamiliar place. There will be unfamiliar sights and sounds, including the equipment and dentist chair; it is easy to imagine how all this can be intimidating for a child. The best way to counter any fears children may have during the visit is to appear calm, relaxed, and completely trusting of the pediatric dentist. Children are very good at reading their parents’ emotions, so a calm parent is likely to have a very calm child. If a parent struggles with dental anxiety, then he or she may want to consider having the other spouse bring the child. In other cases, the parent may want to have a conversation with the pediatric dentist beforehand so we know to prepare for concerns.

The child’s memories of the first visit will begin, not when you walk in the door, but when you make the appointment. Children are naturally curious, using curiosity to determine there is nothing to fear, so you can expect a number of questions from your child about the visit before you come in. This is an excellent opportunity to educate and teach your child about great oral hygiene habits and also to build up excitement around the visit. The happier a child is to come in, the more likely they will have a great experience. You can help with this by ensuring to be upbeat and positive before the visit.

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