Your child’s first visit
A child’s first dental visit can be very exciting, very scary, or both! At Tooth Works, we strive to make your child as comfortable as we can with our office amenities and playful demeanor. We provide you with the patience and time you need for your child’s first visit (whether it’s the first time ever or simply new to our office), including ample time to ask all your questions. You will also be given your dentist’s personal email address for future questions so you don’t feel pressured to ask it all at once. We want the best dental care for your child!
Depending on the age of your child, the type of visit can vary. If your child is young and scared we will complete a visual exam of the mouth, with fluoride treatment if needed, and parental education about diet, habits and proper oral hygiene. However, if your child is slightly older and able to cooperate we will also incorporate a cleaning and x-rays as needed.
Helpful tips for a great first visit:
You can also help make your child’s visit a success by preparing them for their visit and portraying the dentist in a positive light. Make it an exciting adventure rather than any regular doctor’s visit. You can even play dentist at home practicing brushing each other’s teeth at home and setting expectations of the visit.
- Never use the dentist as a threat (i.e – “if you don’t behave, the dentist will give you a needle”). These comments prevent a healthy dentist-patient relationship and create a lack of trust. Avoid using words such as “drill”, “needle”, “shot”, etc. and instead helpful words that the dentist may use when speaking with your child, such as “spin brush” or “sleepy juice for your tooth”.
- Avoiding promising things that the dentist may/may not do at the visit. This shows that the parent and dentist are not on the same team.
- Talk to them about prizes and stickers for good behavior.
- Bring in a favorite toy or DVD that he/she can use for comfort during the visit
- Nervous parent? Try to keep in mind that children will require some time to warm up to a new atmosphere and a new type of doctor’s visit. Every child is different but regular visits that start at a young age can promote a quicker route to comfort and prevent long-term fear of the dentist. Try to avoid transferring any fear you may have with the dentist or even any anxiety you have about their visit to your child. If your child feels that you are confident they will absorb that too. Preparing yourself is just as important as preparing your child!