How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Visit to the Dentist
Posted on 2/21/2022 by Nam Thien Vu, DDS
Regular dental checkups are as important for children as they are for adults. However, unlike adults, a visit to the dentist can seem much scarier to children. That's why, they need to be prepared beforehand so that they not only willingly go to the dentist, but also follow all treatments and instructions without trouble.
Here's what you should keep in mind:
Use the Right Words
Right from the beginning, it's important that you use the right words. Words like pain and needles will only scare your child further. Therefore, when explaining to them what they can expect, use words that will encourage them such as healthy and strong teeth. Moreover, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, rather than using words, you can also utilize pictures and videos to prepare them.
Do Role Playing at Home
Another way to prepare them is to do role playing at home. You can pretend to be the dentist and they can play the patient. You can pretend to do a simple checkup of their teeth using a spoon to show them that there's nothing to be scared about.
Give Them Something to Look Forward To
If they are extra nervous or scared, you can distract them by giving them something else to think about or look forward to. For example, you can plan a trip to the park or their favorite shop right after the dentist's visit. This should give them something to be excited about.
Provide Constant Support and Reassurance
Most importantly, you need to constantly remind them that you're there and nothing bad is going to happen. You can take along their favorite toy or blanket for that additional emotional support. With their favorite objects with them, they will feel much more reassured and less nervous.
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