How to prepare your child for the dentist? 7 tips for first-time moms.
A visit to the dentist can be a terrifying ordeal for an adult; what more to a child, right? As a parent, you might have your scary dentist appointment tucked away in your brain, but it’s not the best time to share it with your kids.
A child’s first dental visit should happen no later than their first birthday or six months after their first tooth becomes visible, so that’s a bit tricky. Most parents delay the visit because some don’t see the necessity because they see a healthy set of pearly whites in front of them. They also don’t feel comfortable themselves. That’s why for the first dental visit of a child, it’s the parents that should be mentally and emotionally prepared first and foremost.
First-time moms have a lot of apprehensions and questions on many things. Having a child is a huge responsibility and taking care of them becomes a number one priority once you become a parent. Seeing your child cry when they get hurt is an awful feeling that you’d wish you were the one who’s hurt instead. And going to the dentist sometimes puts you in that situation. But if your child is suffering from ectodermal Dysplasias, they would need dentures to correct their teeth.
What is Ectodermal Dysplasias?
Ectodermal Dysplasias is a rare congenital disorder that involves defects of the hair, teeth, nails, skin, and glands. The condition becomes apparent at birth but manifests when the baby grows.
When a child has this condition, there will be an abnormal development of the mentioned areas. And on the teeth, it could be unattractive and may affect how the child interacts with others as they grow. A child may develop an inferiority complex, depression, and anxiety because other kids may bully them. It is crucial to correct this condition the soonest and help the child cope by giving them dentures so they may have the confidence to smile and show the world how they feel. To learn more about dentures, visit this website.
If you’re a first-time mom, here are tips to help you prepare your child for their first dental appointment:
- Get excited
A cheerful disposition from an adult can rub with a child. As you get near the appointment, show that you are excited and looking forward to it. Share happy experiences of your visits to the dentist as a child; certainly, not all your visits were traumatic. Paint a happy picture in their mind, a form of pre-framing them of what’s to come.
- Time the appointment well
A mom like you knows your child better than others. You know the best times they’re happy and energized, and those times you can’t just drag them to do things. Schedule their appointments well so you won’t have difficulty getting them to the dentist.
- Read books
A kid’s mind is a sponge that can absorb so many details, and reading them a child-friendly dental book can prepare them, get them excited and motivated, and even look forward to the visit.
- Watch videos
Days before the visit, you may ask your child to watch a fun kid-friendly dental video to familiarize them with the clinic and the friendly doctor and what he does to keep kids’ teeth healthy, strong and beautiful.
- Role-play at home
Nothing a bit of playing can’t motivate a child to do something. A play-based approach increases a child’s exploration ability, imagination, and decision-making. An enjoyable experience of playing doctor-patient with mom can do wonders to influence them to visit the dentist without any difficulty. You might not even realize they’re pulling your arms in the direction of the clinic.
- Bring their favorite toy along
To soothe an uncomfortable child, you may bring along their favorite toy to the clinic. For many kids, their favorite toy is like a security blanket, one look, and it instantly makes them happy and comfortable. Whenever they feel agitated and need soothing, give them their toy to distract them from the procedure.
- Reward your child
First appointments to the dentist are usually a happy and get-to-know stage, as the dentist will check and assess and will not perform any painful procedure and reserve this to the subsequent visits. So, for the first visit, a reward will drive the child to visit again without much coaxing.
Trauma can cause negative things to a child, and a painful, unhappy experience can be a part of them even as they grow into an adult. It can manifest into behavioral changes, challenges relating to others, socializing, and developmental and academic difficulties.
Making a dental appointment a happy and essential part of their medical journey growing up will ensure that they have a healthy set of teeth and blossom confidence as they grow.
Dally Roxas is a teacher. Her passion and love for kids had led her to pursue a career in teaching. She is also a freelance writer who writes blog posts to share her experience and knowledge. Dally enjoys spending time with her family.