Your Kids Dentist: First Visit

 kids-dentist20158aAs a kids dentist, we put a great deal of importance in the first visit a child makes to our offices. Why is this so important? We have learned much over the last several years, even using several different studies of how children form lasting memories of their first dental visits, if they are old enough to make such memories. We say this because we would prefer to have your child’s first kids dentist visit be when they turn one or immediately after getting their first tooth. If you do bring the child in at this time, they will have virtually no memory of their first tooth, but if you keep bringing them in for bi-annual examinations, they will remember those easy and uncomplicated visits to the kids dentist instead. Unfortunately, many parents do not bring their child in this young, waiting until there is an incident that requires the child to seek care from a kids dentist. In a case like this, where the child is probably in discomfort, we need to work together to ensure a good first visit.A recent study found that of the 45 percent of people who do not visit the dentist regularly in the United States, many of them could trace their original concern or dental fears to an incident or fear in childhood. We want to avoid any such occurrence in your children. The one piece of advice we give parents who have a dental anxiety of their own is to either send the child in with the other parent or work with us to demonstrate calm and trust. What you do and say before, during, and after the appointment will have a profound effect on how the child views the entire process. If you are nervous or anxious, the child will feed off these emotions and manifest them as their own. On the other hand, if you are calm, trusting the professional expertise of your kids’ dentist, the child will feel the same way and allow us to provide them with a stress-free first childhood dentist visit.Keeping in mind that your child will be in an unfamiliar environment with strange sights and smells, surrounded by people they have never met before, it is easy for them to be intimidated. Many parents will have a conversation with their child before the day of the dentist visit in order to get them more familiar with the goings on at the kids dentist. If you decide to do this, we ask that you keep the conversation light and cheerful, so you are portraying something that is easy and even fun. Try not to go into too much detail, because we want to be able to frame things in a manner that children will understand and be excited about. Curiosity is an emotion far stronger than fear, which is what we want to encourage at the kids’ dentist. One thing many parents do not take into account, but should, is that you should consider making the first appointment early in the day when your child is most alert and most likely to ask questions. 
 

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