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if your child has never visited a dentist before: A child’s first dental visit will usually be the basis on which the child views the dental experience for the rest of his or her life. Adequately preparing a child for their first dental visit will help allay any fears they may have, and will also set in place guidelines that will lead to a lifetime free from serious oral problems.

 

Allaying dental fears: Children will not usually have a natural fear of the dentist. Any fears they may have come from listening to other people’s dental experiences. When preparing your child for their first dental visit, it is vital not to use words or phrases that will instill a fear of the dentist. Do not use words such as needle, drill or hurt and do not use phrases such as, “Going to the dentist doesn’t hurt much.” Never use the dentist as a threat or as a punishment to the child, and do not let the child hear stories of bad previous dental experiences from siblings.

 

Make the first dental visit an enjoyable one: Always speak positively about dentists and going to the dentist. In spite of any negative encounters that you may have had, your child is going to enjoy coming to our clinic! You are your child’s greatest hero, and positive role modelling is considered key to ensuring a positive visit.

 

Children love to play and pretend. Practising a visit to the dentist at home can be a source of pleasure and a wonderful time of togetherness for you and your child: Practise counting your child’s teeth. Tell your child that the dentist will do the same. Lay your child back with their head in your lap. Then have your child practise opening wide for the dentist. Use props such as toothbrushes; spoons make a perfect “dental mirror”. You can even let your child pretend that they are the dentist examining and counting your teeth.  In this way, you are providing your child with enough information to prepare for the dental visit and helping soothe their fears, while keeping it simple.

 

Although you may have adequately prepared your child for their first dental visit it is still not uncommon for young children to cry during their first dental exam due to unfamiliar surroundings and anxiety. Staying calm and relaxed and talking to the child will help allay their anxiety, The staff at Kiddies Dental Care are always understanding and supportive.

 

If your child had a negative experience with another dentist before coming to see Kiddies Dental Care tell your child:

 

  • We are seeing another dentist, not the same one as last time.
  • This time all you need to do is to sit in the special dental chair, have a little lie down, open your mouth for a few minutes to let the dentist see what’s in there with a special mirror.
  • You will not be getting any treatment at all.
  • I understand you may be a bit anxious, but I will be there with you for the whole time.
  • After having a look at your teeth, the dentist will talk to Mum and Dad, and you can go to play with the toys or read a book.
  • A special treat afterwards always helps!

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