Parents and dentists each play an important role in making a child’s first dental appointment a positive experience. Any anxiety displayed by parents will be “picked up” by the child. And, an unfriendly dentist can cause unnecessary fear in the child.
Tell your child about the visits but limit the amount of details given. Answer any questions with simple, to-the-point answers. Let the dentist answer more complex or detailed questions. Dentists are trained to describe things to children in a nonthreatening way and in easy-to-understand language. We do not want them to think the visit will be unpleasant, in fact we strive to make it as pleasant as possible. Please do not use words like “hurt” “pain” or “shot”. Do not share dental experiences you’ve had with your children unless of course they were “Good”! Stress to your child how important it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums and that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job it is to help do this. And most importantly…..let them know we want them to enjoy their time with us and will have a take-home bag filled with goodies when they leave our office!