Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with saying, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” This can certainly apply to building good lifelong habits at the dentist as much as to anything else.
Helping your child build a solid, fearless foundation with their dentist is something you’ll never regret — and your child will thank you, too. Our talented dentists at Arya Dental in Fullerton, California, want to help you build great oral care habits with your children for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
However, adults who have dental anxiety may find it hard to instill confidence in their young children. Our dental care team can help you address any anxiety openly and honestly without shame and make dental visits fun for you and your child.
Here are some recommendations for preparing your child for their first dental visit.
Set the example
Children watch their parents closely, and this includes your dental hygiene habits. If you avoid the dentist, they will naturally wonder why they should go. If you suffer from dental anxiety, this is a good time to begin setting a good example by dealing with your fear.
Start by attending your own dental exams and cleanings and bringing your child along. Get them used to everything about the dental office, like the staff, office setting, chairs, and what happens during a routine visit.
Make the benefits of dental care obvious
Kids don’t respond well to lectures about dental care or anything else. But they do pick up instantly if something is important or beneficial. Show them how important good oral care is by brushing your teeth with them and showing them how.
Highlight the benefits through comments and light conversation covering topics like:
- Caring properly for our teeth prevents cavities
- Proper home dental care makes our smile bright and beautiful
- Oral care also keeps our body healthy
- Brushing and flossing keep away bad breath
- The dentist can help you keep your teeth longer
Talk about their worries
Most children feel apprehensive about trying new places and experiences. The dentist's office may be no different. Talk about their worries ahead of time and what may be prompting their fears. Make it plain that they can ask to stop if something is too frightening.
Make it fun
Life should be enjoyed, and visits to the dental office are no exception. Plan a special outing or activity for after the appointment and don't make it depend on their “behavior” during the visit.
We don’t recommend a bag of candy, of course, but building a mental connection between dentist visits and fun activities can be helpful in the future.
Talk to our dental team and explain this is your child’s first visit to the dentist. We can make children feel at ease and explain everything we do in kid-friendly language. Plus, we love to have fun, too!
If it’s time for your child’s first dental visit in or around Fullerton, call Arya Dental or request a children’s dentistry appointment now here on this website.