How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Appointmenthttps://www.macatawasmiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/first-dental-appointment-holland-mi-dentist.jpg 300 300 Macatawa Smiles Macatawa Smiles https://www.macatawasmiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/first-dental-appointment-holland-mi-dentist.jpg
Your child should see a dentist within 6 months of getting theiror by their first birthday. That being said, there are steps you can take to help your child make a smooth transition.
How you handle this first visit may determine how your child feels about going to the dentist for the rest of their life. That’s why it’s important that you help your child form a good first impression.
Here’s how to set your child up for success.
Practice Counting Teeth
Dr. Habecker will keep your child’s first dental appointment very simple. That way, he’ll be able to build a relationship with your child based on trust.
During the first visit, Dr. Habecker may ask to “count” your child’s teeth. That way, he’ll be able to perform a basic oral examination while using language your child understands.
To prepare your child for their appointment, tell your child how the dentist will need to count their teeth. You may also encourage them to count either your teeth or their own teeth so they know what to expect.
Avoid Frightening Language
Your child’s first visit with us will be very simple. That’s why there’s no reason to use scary words like “shot” or “pain.” Instead, try to frame your child’s first dental appointment in a positive light.
We recommend that you act excited about your child’s first dental visit and say that it’s a sign that they’re growing up. Your child will pick up on your enthusiasm and feel more relaxed when they visit our office for the first time.
Read a Book About Going to the Dentist
Setting expectations is so important when you’re introducing your child to the idea of going to the dentist. When they know what to expect, they won’t feel as much anxiety. In fact, they may even look forward to!
Check out your local library or bookstore for relevant children’s books.
Set a Good Example
A lot of parents don’t realize that their children pick up on their attitudes about things. This includes going to the dentist. If you feel anxiety or dread about seeing the dentist, your child may pick up on that and feel the same.
When you talk about dental care, try to seem enthusiastic or calm. In other words, model how you want your child to feel about going to the dentist. We also recommend that you check out our blog post on how to overcome dental anxiety.
Take a Favorite Toy or Blanket
Does your child feel anxious about seeing the dentist for the first time? If so, it may be helpful for you to bring your child’s favorite toy or security blanket to their first appointment. This will help your child feel a sense of comfort and familiarity while in our office.
Request an Appointment With Us
Dr. Habecker is a family dentist in Holland, MI, who’s accepting new patients of all ages. To schedule your child’s first appointment with us, please call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.