If your child has an upcoming dentist appointment, they may already be dreading it no matter how many weeks or days away it is. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to ease their fears and make them more comfortable on the day of the dental visit.
There are many reasons why you need to take your child to the dentist. It may be time for their 6-month check-up and cleaning or they may have a painful tooth. Whether the appointment is just a routine visit or an emergency walk-on, the fear your child may feel can ruin their day. It's important that your kid has a favorable first few dental appointments, as they may set the stage for future visits.
With a little bit of foresight and planning, you can ensure that your child has a positive dental experience. One of the first things to do is to ask trusted family members and friends for pediatric dentist recommendations. This will help you narrow down an extensive list, or give you a starting point on your search for the perfect kids' dentist.
The following are some additional suggestions for easing kids' fear prior to dental appointments.
Set Up a Pre-Appointment Meeting with the Dental Office
After you've chosen the best dentist for your child's needs, ask to set up a pre-appointment meeting, which will allow your child to get comfortable with the space prior to the big day. You'll also have a chance to ask important questions, such as if parents are allowed in the exam space. If your child is very fearful of the dentist, having you near will make them more comfortable.
You can also ask what other ways the staff makes children more at ease during the appointment, such as TVs above the exam table and a treasure box of goodies they can choose from after they're done.
Pick an Office with Waiting Room Distractions
Before any dental appointment, you may have to wait to be seen. Make sure that the office you choose has a few toys or games on hand in the waiting room, which will help distract your child right before the exam or procedure.
These distractions will come in especially handy during the first appointment when you'll likely have to fill out paperwork. You can also bring a few small toys, such as your child's favorite stuffed animal, from home for extra comfort.