Positive Communication

If you want your child to have a positive attitude about visits to the dentist, it’s important that you talk with him or her. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s recommended that every child begins having regular checkups at 1 year of age. If your own dental visits stress you out, your child will exhibit the same behaviors. You need to maintain a positive association with your dentist so that your child will be prepared for positive relationships with theirs.

Preparing a Child for Their First Visit

The great thing about pediatric dentist’s offices is the fact that they typically provide educational tools, toys, and games in an environment that’s friendly to all children. Pediatric dentists also receive training in psychology, which sets them apart from adult dentists. Our offices at Kids Dental Specialty are encouraging and comfortable to make children’s visits positive. We want our children to feel welcome, which is why we provide supportive surroundings for them.

You can make your child’s first appointment with us a positive experience by doing the following:

First, you can bring another adult with you. Infants will be fussy during their first few years of examinations; therefore, having another adult present can calm the child down while you’re asking questions and jotting down any advice the dentist might have.

Other children should be left at home because they can not only distract you, but your infant as well. Make sure your first visit is conducted without other children present to reduce both you and your child’s stress levels.

Scary language should never be used such as “bleeding,” “injections,” “needles,” and “drills.” These words will frighten most young ones. Our dentists and staff have been trained to avoid using any scary language.

The explanations you give to your child should always be positive. When you use positive language as it relates to your child’s dental visits, this will positively affect the relationship they have with their dentist. When you give a broad explanation to your children about how a dentist can help keep their teeth healthy, this makes the child less worried and anxious about their visit. It is also much more effective than describing the specific actions of a dentist.

Your child needs to know what is happening, and it is important that you explain it to them. If a child knows what they’re going to expect, it will reduce their anxiety levels so that they can manage their expectations better and they will actually look forward to going to the dentist.

Here are some books we recommend reading to your child:

  • The Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist (By Stan and Jan Berenstein)
  • Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist (Part of the Dora the Explorer book series)
  • Going to the Dentist (By Anne Civardi)
  • Elmo Visits the Dentist (Part of the Sesame Street book series)

The First Visit

Your child’s first visit to the dentist achieves many goals.

Your child’s dentist needs to be well-acquainted with them so they can evaluate the health of their existing gums and teeth, which our dentists at Kids Dental Specialty will do first. Then, our dentists will assess jaw and tooth development so they will know more about the overall health of your child’s teeth. Last, our dentists will answer any questions the parents might have as well as give advice about how to carry out and develop an oral care plan for your child to follow.

10 Steps for a Successful First Visit

Step #1: Our staff at Kids Dental Specialty will welcome the child along with their parents or any accompanying adults.

Step #2: Our staff will review questionnaires that are related to your child’s and family’s overall health histories.

Step #3: Our pediatric dentists will address parent concerns and answer any questions they might have.

Step #4: Our pediatric dentists will ask additional questions about your child’s wellness overall including oral habits like pacifier usage as well as tooth development and alignment. They will also ask questions about the child’s overall development and growth, and about their diet.

Step #5: Next, our pediatric dentists will give parents advice regarding oral care procedures that should be followed, the usage of sippy cups, how much fluoride a child should intake, and ways their child can prevent oral injuries to their mouth.

Step #6: Once all of this is complete, our dentists will examine the infant’s teeth. The dentist and parent will typically face each other while the infant’s head rests in our dentist’s lap. The infant will be able to look at their parent in this position and our dentist will have unobstructed access to the baby’s mouth during the examination.

Step #7: Our dental staff members along with the pediatric dentist will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Step #8: Then, the pediatric dentist will describe the baby’s overall oral health in detail and make some recommendations about how to care for their teeth. These recommendations range from oral habits to diet. Some topics may also include orthodontically correct pacifiers, toothpastes, and toothbrushes.

Step #9: Our dentist will also inform the parent about which teeth are likely to come in during the next few months.

Step #10: Finally, the dentist will explain what will happen during the child’s next visit, and our staff will set an appropriate date and time for their next appointment.