FIRST VISIT: PREPARING FOR THE DENTAL JOURNEY
It is our goal that your child leaves our office with a positive attitude towards dental treatment. As well, we hope you will feel comfortable in your role as the main caregiver in your child’s oral health. We believe prevention of oral disease is a team effort and it includes your involvement and commitment while in our office and at home. Click on the video to the right to take an office tour so you will know what to expect. In addition, we offer the following suggestions for preparing your child to begin this journey:
- Explain to the child that the dentist will look inside their mouth with a tiny mirror.
- If your child has 20 primary teeth, prepare them for the possibility that we may want to clean their teeth with sparkly toothpaste and tooth vitamins to make their teeth strong!
- Let them know that the dentist will be friendly and will listen if they have any questions.
Please do not tell them this will not hurt as this idea may have never entered their mind.
- Please refrain from using words such as needle, shots, drill, and other words suggesting unpleasantness. NEVER threaten with, “I’m going to have to pull all your teeth!” as a way to control behavior.
- Children can be unpredictable! Keep your expectations of them reasonable. Remember-this is a dental JOURNEY.
- Another way to convey good feelings about dental visits is to remind them that going to the dentist is a sign that they are growing up!
- While they may never think to cry, please do not get upset if your child does cry. This is a perfectly normal reaction to the unknown and we are trained to help fearful children through their first dental experiences. As your child matures, it is part of our goal to encourage their independence and promote their self-esteem. When a baby tree is first planted, stakes are placed around the tree to help it grow and withstand the elements. As it matures these stakes are carefully removed and it becomes a tall, healthy, strong tree! Guiding your child through this dental journey is much like the growth of the baby tree. When they are grown they will have developed strong, healthy oral habits due to the guidance given to them when they were young.