We love seeing our young patients! However, we know that sometimes, the dentist’s office can be new and alarming to young children. Most of the time, our feelings about the dentist are set early on in life. Whether or not your child is comfortable with the dentist can have a major impact on their oral health as they grow up.
Here are some tips that will help you and your little one have a great visit to our office:
- Go in the morning. Many children wind up getting fussy during the dental office visit simply because they’re tired and hungry. They haven’t snacked since you brushed their teeth, and there’s far too much stimulation at the dental office to nap. If you try to set an appointment earlier in the day your child will be more cheerful and alert. Aim for after breakfast but before lunch.
- Fill out forms ahead of time. New patients (and sometimes old patients too) need to submit a certain amount of paperwork, just so that we can understand any medical concerns and billing information before starting. Often, we see parents in our office stressed about filling out the forms while simultaneously keeping an eye on their children. Sometimes it even delays the checkup and causes hiccups in your day’s schedule. Instead, do what you can to fill out forms ahead of time. You can come by our office anytime, or request the forms ahead of time so you can fill out what you can at home.
- Pick a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have the experience and talent of working with children and helping them to have fun at the dental office. Our office is specially designed to accommodate little patients and keep them happy and occupied. Furthermore, pediatric dentists know how to work with squirmy and sensitive children, and specialize in treating children’s dental concerns. This helps us to get your child in and out in less time with less bother.
- Role play ahead of time. If it’s your child’s first time to the dentist, incorporate certain things into their play so that it will be more familiar. Read books about dental visits. Role-play and let your child count your teeth using a popsicle stick. Take turns. This will help them to feel more prepared and in control when they’re sitting in our chair.
- Make dental visits regular. If your child has only ever been to the dentist’s office when he or she is struggling with oral pain (i.e. from an accident, or from severe cavities) then the dental office itself will be associated with pain. Instead, make the dental appointments regular and routine. If it happens reliably every 6 months you’ll have smoother visits. Your child will have less dental discomfort because of preventive care. He or she will also be more familiar and comfortable with the dental office and team.