How to Help Your Child at Their First Dentist Appointment

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Once your child begins to go to the dentist, they may develop an irrational or unfounded fear. It's a new experience that can be strange and scary. Helping your child to their first dentist appointment with minimal stress is possible. Consider the tips below.

Maintain a Positive Attitude and Outlook

Remain positive about visiting the dentist, especially in front of your child. The right attitude can go a long way if they are experiencing anxiety or fear over the process. When you have a positive outlook and show them that you are fearless when it comes to keeping up with your own oral health, your child is more likely to feel calm and at ease once their own appointment arrives.

Find a Child-Friendly Dentist

Whether you are searching for a local dentist or a Medicaid dentist that is right for you and your family, seek out a dentist and practice that is child-friendly. Seek out and call dentists in your local area directly to inquire about the atmosphere and environment each office has to determine whether or not it is right for your child. You can talk to your friends with children and see what they might recommend. Your insurance provider might also be able to give you information.

Create an Ongoing Dialogue with Your Child

Creating and maintaining dialogue regarding your child’s upcoming dentist appointment is essential to prevent meltdowns or a buildup of anxiety. Ask your child why they are nervous, scared, or anxious before attending the appointment with them. Ask them if there is any way you can help them to alleviate their fears or stresses. Share your own previous and relevant fears and anxieties about visiting the dentist or going to the doctor regularly. An ongoing dialogue is not only a way to help calm your child, but it can help them to feel safe and comfortable with opening up with you.

Walk Them Through the Experience

Prepare your child in a nonchalant manner about their first upcoming dentist appointment in a casual and positive way. Avoid getting too serious, graphic, or detailed when explaining a dentist appointment to a child, especially when they are young. Walking your child through the experience beforehand can help them to feel less nervous or scared of what is to come.

Support your child through their anxieties. Validate them as they go into a scary experience. You will both grow closer to your child and help them grow into a confident adult.

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