If you’re like most people, you associate your visits to the dentist as a child with significant feelings of dread. You may have even been quite frightened before your very first visit. Older siblings and friends often enjoy teasing younger children about going to the dentist and making it seem worse than it really is. It’s also highly likely that your parents influenced your anxiety as well even if they never outright said anything negative about the dentist — children don’t need words to pick up on the emotions of their parents. If your child is due for that first dental visit, you may find yourself reliving those early emotions, but it’s important not to transfer them to your child. Here’s what you can do to make your child’s first dental visit go as seamlessly as possible.
Make the Appointment for the Morning
Most young children become cranky during the afternoon hours, particularly with anything that upsets their routine or interferes with their nap. Make the appointment for the morning, and make sure they get plenty of rest the night before.
Have Your Paperwork in Order
You’ll need to provide a complete medical history of your child for the dentist as well as insurance and incidental information, so do this online prior to the visit that you’ll be able to focus your attention on your child once you arrive at the dentist’s office.
Arrive Slightly Ahead of Schedule
Getting their slightly ahead of time gives you and your child the chance to relax in the waiting room. Ideally, the dentist will have a child-friendly waiting area designed to calm young nerves, equipped with books, toys, and games. First impressions matter a lot, and if your child’s first few moments at the dentist’s office have pleasant associations, your child is less likely to feel anxiety going forward.
Choosing the right dentist is also important. The dentist and their staff should have the ability to make children comfortable and to take the time to answer any questions little minds may have. Please feel free to contact our office in Woodbury, MN, to schedule an appointment or for more information on making your child’s first dental visit go as smoothly as possible.