Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be exciting — and scary too. Fortunately, our local Scottsdale pediatric dentist has some tried and true tips and tricks for making this initial visit go by as easily as possible for your family.
Play “Dentist” at Home
As you start discussing the trip to the dentist with your child, it can help to read library books and role play. Use an extra set of toothbrushes to practice brushing and counting each other’s teeth, holding a flashlight to see inside of your mouth. Or put your child’s favorite toy in your lap and take turns examining their “teeth”.
The more empowered your child feels about visiting a dentist to have their teeth looked at, the less nervous they’re likely to be during the oral health checkup.
Leave Your Past Experiences at the Door
A parent’s dental phobia can easily overshadow how their child experiences the dental environment. While many of us have experienced negative encounters in a dental office, our pediatric practice is committed to ensuring an enjoyable and positive visit for all children. If you feel nervous, your child will likely feed off of that.
Relax. We’ve got it covered! Just sit back and enjoy the visit with your child.
Only Use Positive Language
When you’re describing things to your child, never say words like “hurt”, “shot”, “drill”, or the like…even if you’re saying “this won’t hurt” or “you won’t get any shots.”
Even though what you’re saying isn’t inherently bad, it can set off an unwanted chain of events.
Instead, use language like “this is going to tickle” or “the dentist is going to count your teeth” that are completely free of any intimidating verbs and adjectives.
When in doubt, let our pediatric dental team do the talking.
Schedule a Walk Through
For children patients with moderate to severe behavioral and special needs, ask about a tour or quick consultation in our Scottsdale office. We can arrange for a short 10-15 minute visit where your child gets to experience the sights and sounds of our practice without actually getting anything done. Maybe they ride up and down in the chair, see our electric toothbrushes, or just check out where they’ll be getting pictures taken.
This non-confrontational visit can help familiarize your child with our team and office, helping them to be more familiar with what to expect when they come back.
Schedule Visits by Age 1 or 2
Pediatric dental experts recommend that all children see a dentist by their first birthday. The earlier your child’s visit is, the less likely they are to have any major dental problems (and thus, any pain). Establishing dental care services in a positive light is best done early, rather than waiting until your child has a painful toothache.
Call Our Scottsdale Pediatric Dentist
Little White Tooth offers comprehensive pediatric dentistry to children of all ages. Contact us today to request your child’s visit with Dr. Veneberg to see how we can help make your child’s first dental appointment a great one full of smiles. Need additional tips? We’re happy to help!