Good dental health should begin as soon as possible. In fact, it’s recommended that children see a dentist by their first birthday to help establish preventative habits early on. But the experience can be a scary one for a very young child. Ohio’s Grove City Dental offers these tips for preparing your toddler for his or her first trip to the dentist.
- Do your homework: Pediatric dentistry requires specialized training for two to three years beyond dental school. Make sure the dentist you choose has that specialized training before scheduling your first appointment.
- Get acquainted: Visit your chosen dentist’s office before setting your child’s appointment to make sure the offices and staff are child-friendly. Consider scheduling a get-acquainted consultation with the dentist to gauge his personality and bedside manner and ask questions about his approach to treating children.
- Timing is everything: You know your child best. Schedule your little one’s appointment at a time when he or she is natural alert and rested.
- Tell a tall tale: There are multiple fun children’s books on the market written specifically to help prepare young children for a visit to the dentist. Check out titles like Chippy Goes to the Dentist, Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile or Usborne First Experiences -Going to the Dentist. Read them with your child, explain in non-scary terms what will happen at the dentist’s office and encourage your child to ask questions.
- Chill out: Children are far more perceptive than many adults realize. Thus, they easily pick up on an adult’s anxiety. And if Mommy seems uneasy, you can bet that the child will too. So, prepare yourself for the visit, too. Consider doing something relaxing in the hours just prior to your child’s appointment, like stopping at a park. Also, have a written list of questions to ask the dentist about home tooth care, injury prevention, diet and snacking, etc. Trying to remember them may prove stressful in itself and add to your and your child’s anxiety.
- Reward: Give your child something to look forward to after his or her dentist appointment – Perhaps a new toy or a visit to the playground. Having an exciting goal in mind will help them better brave this unfamiliar adventure and feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s all over.
Here at Grove City Dental, Dr. Scott Schumann and his staff go the distance in making sure that children’s visits are comfortable and fun. Says one mom who recently brought her toddler in for a first appointment: “Thank you so much for making [child’s] first appointment at the dentist a great experience. She smiled all day and chanted ‘brush, brush, brush.’”
To schedule your child’s appointment, call 614-808-1700 or use our convenient online email form.