Dental health plays just as vital a role in your overall well being as the health of any other body part. That is why you must endeavour to instil good dental hygiene habits in your children. After all, the earlier they learn, the more likely they are to keep these habits once they get out the fantasy of making snow sculptures.
One of the pillars of oral health is regular visits to the dentist. But, unfortunately, there seems to be a general fear among many of simply stepping into a dentist’s office in the first place! Even worse, children can sometimes pick up on this reluctance, making them fearful of dental visits. As a result, they become more likely to ignore their oral health while avoiding the dentist.
So, as a parent, it is up to you to help set the tone for the relationship your children will have with their dental health practitioner right from the beginning. Here is how you can help your child on their first dental visit and overcome their fear:
Start Them Off Early
You may feel as though it is more prudent to wait until the time when your child’s permanent teeth start growing before taking them to a dentist. This approach is not ideal. Instead, it is better to plan their first visit when they are around two years old. However, remember that this is not a hard and fast rule. If you feel an earlier visit is warranted, it is also possible to seek professional help when your child is younger.
The only caveat to making dental visits at such an early age is the need for you to ensure that the practitioner has adequate experience with pediatric dental care. There are some who are specialists in this field. Therefore, they have the proper training to carry out your child’s dental care in a manner befitting your child’s age.
On the day of your visit, it is also prudent to be as prepared as possible. You can do so by ensuring that you bring your child’s favourite toy and compile a list of queries to go through with the dentist. Finally, keeping up a lively and joyous attitude is also important. Your child will emulate your emotions, so remaining upbeat before, during and after the visit will go a long way toward boosting their excitement and keeping them calm as well.
Teach Them Through Positive Associations
As you teach your children about the dentist and what the title entails, it is best to present the information using positive language. So, it may be better to give the lesson through a fun, role-playing game where you take turns acting as the dental professional. Additionally, you may try to find alternative ways of explaining why the visit is needed. Thus, for example, informing them that the dentist needs to count their teeth or check their smile. In addition, it is also essential to reinforce the efficacy of this relationship with lessons on creating and maintaining the proper dental hygiene and health routine at home along with the entertainment.
As you celebrate the milestone of your child’s first dental visit, remember to wield your secret weapon of positively presented pertinent information liberally to help your child get their relationship with the dentist off on the right foot.