Gentle Dental: Helpful Tips for Your Toddler’s First Appointment

Gentle Dental: Helpful Tips for Your Toddler’s First Appointment

Many parents don’t know what how to get ready for their toddler’s first dental appointment. Some worry that their toddler will be nervous going in for the first time or won’t be properly prepared. Here are some tips that will make the experience easy and seamless:

Practice Dental Hygiene with Them

Children need to learn at a young age how important oral health is. Getting them ready for their first dental appointment means having them be familiar with oral health procedures, like brushing their teeth. They won’t be as nervous about going into this unfamiliar place if they have done some of the things before, like flossing and brushing teeth on a regular basis.

Put Them at Ease

If your child has a specific item or activity that puts them at ease, like a toy, game, food, or outfit, be sure to give it to them or do it with them before they go to the dentist. Children have anxiety about new experiences just as adults do, so allowing them to do whatever puts them in a good mood and gets them relaxed is a good way to help them create positive associations with the dentist.

Choose the Right Office

Choosing a dental office that is very child-friendly, located in a familiar area, and that has friendly staff can make the experience much better for your child. Most children’s dental offices have fun, well-decorated waiting rooms with games, toys, and magazines that toddlers like to enjoy before they go in. Most dental clinics know that having these things is important to making the child feel safe and happy in the environment. Additionally, staff members should be experienced with children. It doesn’t hurt to scope out a few dental offices and find the one you think your toddler will be the most comfortable at.

Project the Right Attitude

Toddlers are very good at picking up on the emotions and attitudes of the people around them. If you talk about how normal it is to go to the dentist, how everyone does it all the time, and how easy and quick it will be, your child will likely not be as nervous about it being new to them.

Your toddler’s first dentist appointment doesn’t have to be stressful or scary. They may even enjoy it. With these tips you are likely to have an easy time getting through this milestone.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;