Preparing for a child’s first dental visit is one of the most important parts of their dental future. Your kids are a blank slate, they have no preconceived notion of what it means to go to the dentist. This is a good thing. Times have changed especially for pediatric patients at the dentist. Children today have fun at the dentist. It is important that any conversation about the dental visit is a positive one. They get to ride in a big special comfy chair. They learn about mister thirsty our special suction. They get tooth vitamins, stickers, and a fun goodie bag with prizes. It breaks my heart when an uncle or other adult tries to be helpful and uses words that inadvertently put a negative spin on the first visit. Words like it isn’t going to hurt. I often hear caregivers say honey it is going to be fine it won’t hurt. On the surface this can sound positive. The problem is children have a sixth sense and read between the lines that if someone tells them it won’t hurt their first reaction is hurt, hurt, hurt. We have to hide our own fears to create a safe environment. Our fears leak out all the time around children so why should the dentist be any different. We all know that when a young child falls we can laugh or get scared. A laugh elicits a smile and the child bounces up. A look of fear often brings on the opposite response, tears.
A memorable happy first experience at the dentist leads to a lifetime of healthy teeth. A child’s first visit to the dentist is their most important to have success with pediatric dentist patients. Children that have a fun, safe visit to the dentist are more likely to take care of their teeth at home. They get excited about their toothbrush, toothpaste, and their shiny smiles. This leads to cavity free visits and healthy mouths. So remember act casual, tell your child they are going to go play at the dentist and stay out of your child’s sight when they are brought back. Using the less is more approach to dental visits will help ensure you have children that stay cavity free their whole life.
I encourage any questions for comments on this very important topic. We look forward to your children maintaining beautiful lasting smiles.
Dr. Sam Weisz D.D.S
Libertyville Dental Associates
Office Phone: 847.367.6360