Your Child’s First Dental Visit

How to Prepare Your Child For a First Dental Visit

As specialists working in pediatric dentistry, we here at FUNtastic Dental and Orthodontics never forget that our patients have unique fears. I think all of us as children worried about monsters in our closets or under our beds, and depending on whether we had an older brother or sister to reinforce those ideas probably impacted how long we had those fears. Children generally choose one of two methods to deal with the great unknown, whether it’s monsters under the bed or a first dental visit. Some children approach all new experiences with adventure and curiosity, and some are fearful and anxious of what they don’t understand.

Children’s dentistry is unique in that, unlike with adults, you often have to be extra sensitive to their physical and emotional comfort. In reading a recent newsletter on health and well-being, there were some creative tips on helping your child if they are too scared to go to sleep at night. While I read through the ideas, it struck me that many of the same tips apply to our children that may be nervous about their next visit to the pediatric dentist. Hopefully these tips help you as you prepare your little one for their first professional dental exam and cleaning, and remember, they work for scaring those monsters away at night too!

How to conquer fears of your child’s first dental visit:

  • Talk to your child about how he or she can be less frightened at the dentist office and explain how you deal with something when you are afraid. Come up with a story or song to help your child remember it’s okay to have a new experience.
  • Read stories out loud about children who have fears but conquer them. Also, find fun books about pediatric dentists and teeth. Sometimes this will lead to more curiosity about the mouth and less anxiety.
  • Make being at the dentist fun for them by having a treat afterwards (keep it sugar free!) or having a fun routine (go to your favorite store for a toy if they make it into the No Cavity Club).
  • Bring a stuffed animal or other favorite small toy with you to the dental office to share in the experience. If Fido the stuffed puppy gets pictures of his teeth, your little puppy owner will be more likely to join in the fun. Also, you are welcome to bring your own movies in to play during your child’s visit to our Long Beach dentist office.
  • Whenever possible, get your child actively involved in finding a solution that will help him or her feel safe and gain a sense of control.

We hope you find this information useful. If you need more information about your child’s first dental visit, please call FUNtastic Dental and Orthodontics, your gentle pediatric dentistry experts in Long Beach, at (562) 912-2007 or email us at Info@FUNtasticDental.com. We look forward to seeing you at your child’s next dentist visit!


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