Do you remember your first trip to the dentist? Do you remember the waiting room; sitting quietly in expectation while you listen to the noises? The scary sounds seem to be imprinted in most people’s brains – the drilling, sucking and sometimes even the screaming. For many, it was a traumatic experience. However, nowadays it doesn’t have to be something that a child dreads. There are simple tips that can help parents to ensure that it is a pleasant experience for their children. After all, this first visit will set the tone for their dental routine in the future.
What would be your first instinct? Most probably to take the child to the dentist which you have been seeing for years – the dentist that you know and trust. However logical this decision may be, there is actually a better one that can be made. Dentist, although they may be excellent at their job, may not be excellent with children. That is why it is usually best to take them to a paediatric dentist that specializes in children. In order to find such a dentist in downtown Vancouver, ask around. Ask mothers that you trust or have a look at the website of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They have a list of trustworthy dentists.
Make sure to prepare your child before you go. Practise brushing with them so that they are used to the feeling. Explain to them what the dentist is going to do. Most children should visit the dentist when they are a year old, so granted they may not be sure what you are saying exactly. But just make sure that they are used to someone brushing and touching their teeth.
Sitting in the Chair
If the dentist is a well-known children’s paediatrician, then there is no doubt that they will introduce themselves to the child and explain everything that they’re about to do. At any moment, if the child is uncomfortable then the dentist should stop. Instilling trust in them is a big deal.
Everything will be new to the child – this can be either exciting or extremely scary. It is up to the dentist to ensure that it is not the latter! All the equipment is unfamiliar, so before using it the dentist should demonstrate on the parent or even a dummy to show that it doesn’t hurt. Once the child is convinced, then they can proceed with the check-up.
Children are reasonably easy to please. Sometimes, all it takes is the smallest of rewards and they are sold. Sweets, balloons, toys or stickers – anything that will catch their eye – will make them want to come back to the dentist. This will be what thy remember, rather than the traumatic sounds of the equipment.
If you are a parent, make sure that you add to the joy of your child’s first dentist trip. The first time they sit in the dentist chair will me momentous. So be aware of what you say; always be positive about the dentist. It is a fun activity; not a dreaded task.