As a trusted local San Diego pediatric dentist, we can ensure that your children are in good hands. However, we know that many kids will be nervous about dental appointments, and some may even be a little scared of their first visit. However, you can help them get through this. With a bit of guidance and the following tips, you can prepare your kids for their appointment, so they’re much more at ease when the day comes.
Let them know it will be okay
If your child is feeling anxious or scared, don’t be so quick to dismiss those feelings. Instead, acknowledge them. Tell them that you know it’s their first time so they might be nervous, but that everything will be okay. Be sure to praise them for how brave they’re being for conquering their fears. Don’t feel too stressed or embarrassed if they start crying or acting up at the appointment, either. This is a San Diego pediatric dentist’s office, after all. We’ve seen it plenty of times before and we will see it plenty of times in the future. Positive reinforcement is the key.
Make sure you’re not showing any anxiety
Our children learn from us, and it has been shown that they’re very good at unconsciously picking up on cues such as anxiety and nervousness. We know very well that you may not be too fond of the dentist yourself, but it’s recommended that you don’t show it too much. You could end up inadvertently passing on your nervousness to your kid. Instead, talk about the dentist in a positive light, and try to appear enthusiastic or excited about the upcoming visit.
Take a tour of the dentists’ office first
The first dentist’s appointment is a brand new experience, which means it can naturally be a little nerve-wracking. What’s more, the fact that it’s in a brand new environment doesn’t help a child feel very confident about it, either. One of the best ways you can help your child prepare for their appointment is to bring them to the audience ahead of time. Our San Diego pediatric dentist office is designed for kids to help them feel at ease, and our team will be glad to prepare a warm welcome, too.
Watch children’s shows or read books about dentists
One of the best things about young children’s TV is just how many episodes are designed to help them better prepare for experiences they are likely to have in life. With modern TV, streaming services, and on-demand, you can also find specific episodes. Look at some of your child’s favorite shows and see if you can’t find an episode that explains what the dentist does, helping them get comfortable with the concept. Otherwise, you can always find books about going to the dentist for children, whether at your local library or bookstore. You can also try playing dentist with your child, giving them an idea of what they can expect during playtime when they’re happy and comfortable.
Try to schedule an appointment at a good time
Depending on the time of day, your child may be more likely to be stressed and to act out that stress. This usually happens when they are hungry or tired. It’s not always possible, but if you can make an appointment after they have had the chance to take a nap and be fed, it can make things go much smoother for you. Again, this isn’t a tip that’s always possible to follow, but if you can achieve it, it can make the appointment a little more bearable.
Bring a friend to the appointment
There are few things that make a child feel comfortable like a familiar face. Whether it’s a stuffed animal, a toy, or something else they always have on hand, be sure to let them bring it. Sometimes, a child will like to wear something they feel comfortable in, like a princess dress costume over their clothes. If it helps them feel confident and comfortable and won’t get in the way of the treatment, we recommend that you let them bring it with them.
Get in touch and let us know how we can help
If you’re arranging your child’s first dental trip, get in touch, and let us know. We can ensure they’re made welcome, and arrange a tour of the office beforehand so they can get used to the environment and be ready for the appointment. As your local San Diego orthodontist, we will do what we can to ensure as stress-free and easy-going a time for your child as possible.
We hope you enjoyed our San Diego pediatric dentist blog! If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call! If you are ready to make an appointment, you can do so on our Children’s Braces and Dentistry website.