How exciting - your baby is getting their first tooth! It’s hard to believe that he or she is growing up so fast, isn’t it? Changes are happening daily, and this really is a wonderful time in your child’s development.
Now it’s time to start thinking seriously about your child’s oral health. You’re probably thinking that it’s way too early to even consider getting your child anywhere near a dentist’s office. But the sooner we see them, the better the odds of them enjoying a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Kids Learn by Watching You
So now you’ve taken the first step and arranged an appointment for your child at our Hillsboro dental office. But reality hits and you realize that you have butterflies about this big occasion – How will your child react? How will YOU react?
The answer to the second question should give you a pretty good idea of the answer to the first! Our kids are like little sponges – they absorb everything mom and dad say or do. If you’re stressed, your kids feel it.
Our first recommendation? RELAX! Put your trust in your dental team because they wouldn’t treat children if they didn’t love being around kids or know how to treat them gently. You can reduce your anxiety significantly by choosing a dental team that respects your concerns and is willing to address your child’s specific needs.
So get your mental house in order, take a deep breath, and think about all the ways you can make their first visit an adventure.
Preparing Your Child for the Dentist
Now that you’re nice and calm about the big event, you can focus on helping prepare your child. Each child is different so it’s difficult to predict how your child is going to react. But following these guidelines can go a long way toward making sure they have a pleasant experience.
Keep it Simple – Children need a positive start to encourage a lifetime of good oral health habits. So, in your effort to put them at ease, avoid going into too much detail so you don’t confuse or frighten them.
Keep it Positive – Focus on the positive aspects of going to the dentist and avoid any description of pain (i.e. the use of sharp tools). Don’t complain or speak negatively about visiting to the dentist in front of your child. Make sure all family members follow this one!
Make it Fun – Prepare your child by going online or to the library to check out educational videos or books. Choose fun, colorful stories that allow child to view dental visits from their perspective. Another fun way to put a positive spin on the first visit is by “playing pretend.” Participate in some role-play with your child to demonstrate what might happen during the first visit.
Do a Practice Run – We want your child to be happy just as much as you do. You are welcome to make an appointment for a quick visit to let your child meet us. Familiar faces and situations make the first visit much easier for your child.
We’re Here to Help!
Most importantly – you don’t have to do this alone! At Smith Dental we’ve worked with hundreds of kids, and we know exactly what they need to feel comfortable and safe. If your child is getting their first baby teeth or you just have questions about their oral health, please call us to arrange an appointment.