Bringing a child in for their first dental visit can be nerve-wracking for the parent and child. Although, it doesn’t have to be! We have created a few tips for you to share with parents to make their child’s first visit a success.
Things to DO:
1. Do encourage your child to take advantage of the spa amenities we offer. The amenities are tailored to create calmness.
2. Do join your child in the treatment room, if that makes him/her more comfortable. However, know that children are often more cooperative when the parent isn’t present. Rest assured, we will never force treatment upon your child, your child’s wishes will be respected.
3. Do try to make the visit to the dentist special. We’ve had adult patients fondly tell us stories about how their parents took them out to lunch or spent extra time with them the day of their dental visits. This will promote successful future visits as well.
4. Do explain how brushing, flossing, and rinsing will lead to a healthy, and clean smile. Explain that the dentist/hygienist will be proud of his/her hard work taking care of his/her mouth.
5. Do be positive and positively reinforce your child for cooperating at the dental visit.
6. Do have your child accompany you for your routine dental appointments so they can see how you handle them and how easy it is.
7. Do control your own emotions and anxiety you may have about dentistry. If you have trouble keeping calm during your child’s visit, perhaps have another family member accompany him/her so you don’t create any unnecessary anxiety for your child.
8. Do encourage your child to play dentist/doctor at home.
Things to avoid:
1. Don’t mention parts of the experience that may be perceived as “scary” – pain, anything hurting, shots, needles, etc. This makes a negative association in the child’s head and contributes to anxious feelings.
2. Don’t tell your child about negative experiences you may have had at the dentist.
3. Don’t scare your child about getting cavities/fillings to try to get him/her to brush more/better.
4. Don’t force treatment on your child. Let your child get comfortable with the experience. This ignites a lifelong positive dental experience.
Martin Management is a dental consulting firm that helps dental offices transform their practice into a dental spa and soothe patient fears while offering spa-like amenities and significantly growing their practice.