There are a lot of doctor’s visits to check off the list during your child’s first year. Unfortunately, one of the scariest for a baby can be the dental appointment. Even though dental appointments are entirely routine and important, they can feel invasive and strange to anyone—but especially a baby who has no idea why someone would want to poke around their teeth. Here are some great ways to help your little one feel more comfortable in the dental chair that first time.
A big part of how pediatric dental appointments go with children depends on their parents. It’s not just anxiety inducing for the kids, parents can get nervous too. If you maintain a positive attitude about the situation around your baby or toddler, they are much more likely to be cooperative and pleasant during their exam.
One of the major ways that many parents have found the most success in putting a happy spin on some of the more confusing parts of a dentist office is with word choices. Drill, X-rays, and extraction are all words that might come up in any dentist office appointment that could confuse or scare kids. It’s best to avoid them, or find another way to talk about them so that your child understands what’s going on without any possible negative connotation.
Even though you might be trying to downplay some of your concerns around your child, that’s no reason to not communicate with your dentist. Ask a lot of questions to make sure that you understand exactly what they are doing and why. This will help with your comfort level and lead to better discussions about what you can be doing to help your baby’s oral development.
Attitude is the biggest thing, but there are other ways to get your child feeling comfortable and even excited about their trip to the dentist. Pediatric dentists encourage parents to bring toys or security blankets from home to help the child feel more safe and secure. It also might be a good idea to schedule a visit before the actual examination.
Coming by and meting the staff will make the office a bit more familiar and a little less intimidating before the big day. If you’ve been feeling anxious about baby’s first dentist appointment, be open with your pediatric dentist. They’re sure to have great ideas for helping you and your little one feel more at ease.