Your child’s first dentist visit can be both exciting and a little bit scary for parents. Preparing your child for their first visit is crucial to make sure they have a great first impression. At Upper Eastside Kids Dentist, we recommend scheduling an appointment for your child within six months of getting their first tooth. They should see a pediatric dentist at least by the time they turn one year old. If your child is already over a year old, consider making an appointment now. It’s never too late to schedule tier first dentist visit. Here are a few tips to help you and your child prepare for their first visit.
Share Dental-Themed Television Shows and Books
Kids spend a lot of time watching TV and looking at books. Some of their favorite characters have probably dedicated an episode or a book to a dentist visit. It can be exciting for them to go to the dentist when they see their favorite characters go first. There are many ways to expose your child to storylines that demonstrate the importance of oral health and dentist visits. Here are a few ideas:
Books that Highlight Dentist Visits:
- The Tooth Book (Dr. Suess)
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
- Dora the Explorer: Show Me Your Smile
Television Episodes that Highlight Dentist Visits:
- Bubble Guppies – “A Tooth on the Looth”
- Arthur – “Arthur’s Tooth”
- Peppa Pig – “Peppa’s Pearly Whites”
Talk to Your Child About Their First Dentist Visit
Explain to your child what will happen during their first and subsequent visits. You may want to “play dentist” by asking them to open their mouth. This helps them become more comfortable with the actions the dentist will need them to perform. You may ask them to sit in a chair while you use their toothbrush to pretend to brush and count their teeth. Then, switch roles and let them count and your teeth. When they play dentist, they will gain a better understanding more about their dental visit.
Let Them Take Comfort Items
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or toy, they may feel more comfortable if they can bring it along. A furry animal friend accompanying them to this new experience may help keep them calm and comfortable. Having a stuffed toy or blanket with them in a new place can make a huge difference for them.
Plan for a Small Reward
Kids and toddlers like simple things. Before your child’s first dentist visit, plan for a reward. Explain that you will go to the park, the store, or a friend’s house following the visit as long as they are well-behaved. If they know they will get a reward after the visit, they are more likely to remain calm and focused.
Schedule the Appointment Strategically
Scheduling your child’s first dentist visit is important. Upper Eastside Kid’s Dentist recommends that you schedule their appointment during the time of day when they are usually in a good mood. It might be first thing in the morning, right after their nap, or just after a meal. If they are tired or hungry, they may not be as cooperative, which can have a negative effect on their appointment.
Schedule Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
Use these tips to help prepare your child for their first dentist visit. You and your child will be more confident and comfortable. You can go to the dentist excited about the new experience. Call us today to schedule your child’s first dentist visit with Upper East Side Kids Dentist.