Ideally, your child’s first visit to the dentist should occur around the time of their first birthday. Visits to the dentist with a young child can be stressful for both parents and child.
Here are some tips to try to make your visit more enjoyable:
- Bring another adult: Having an extra set of hands and another familiar and soothing presence around can help calm a fussy child and allow you to ask questions and pay better attention to instructions and advice.
- Leave siblings with a babysitter when possible: Having other children with you can be a distraction and cause the infant to fuss.
- Be positive: Always use positive language when speaking of the dentist or dental treatments. Make sure your body language backs it up. Children are good at picking up on anxiety from their parents.
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist– by Stan and Jan Berenstain.If your child is old enough, explain what they can expect: Children are far less anxious when they know what to expect. There are a number of appropriate books for children about visiting the dentist, including:
Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist– Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
Going to the Dentist– by Anne Civardi.
Elmo Visits the Dentist– Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.