It’s important for us to create positive memories for your child at the dentist, as we believe this will create a lifetime of healthy smiles. One of the best ways to ensure your child creates good dental habits is by establishing their dental home.
According to the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental homes ensure children receive routine oral health treatment as well as proper preventative care. We recommend establishing your child’s dental home before their first birthday.
Prep Your Child Before Their Visit
Parents are able to make their child’s first dental visit positive starting at home! Simply begin by explaining the purpose of the dental visit to your child. Let them know we will explain all procedures before beginning and answer your child’s questions. The more you’re able to explain to your child, the less there is for them to worry about.
Be sure to avoid using words that may cause your child you associate fear with the dentist. These words could be things like “hurt,” “drill,” needle,” “shot,” or “pull.” Instead, our office recommends using words that have the same meaning that won’t scare children.
Parents Are Welcome During Their Child's First Examination
We invite you to join your child during their first visit to our office to calm any nerves. However, once children have completed their first visit, we recommend parents wait in our waiting room for all future appointments. This allows us to build trust with your child, raise their confidence in themselves, and overcome fears.
If you have other children with you who are not being treated, we ask they wait in our waiting room with an adult for the safety and privacy of our patients.
At Your Child's Pace
Going to the dentist can be a scary experience to children, and it’s completely normal if your child isn’t ready for their first cleaning. Our office is trained to adapt their visit as needed as according to your child’s unique needs. Often, parents bring in their children for a field trip to the office. We’ll explain what procedures your child can expect and allow them to explore some of our tools, but we won’t perform a cleaning. This allows your child to warm up to the idea of going to the dentist.
It’s completely normal for children who are too young or anxious to have trouble responding to our procedures. It’s absolutely okay to expect struggling and/or crying from these children.