As a just for kids dentist, we have learned that among the most important visits a child will remember, the top is the first dental appointment. What makes the first just for kids dentist visit so important? It is the experience a child has during the first dental visit they remember that will often set the tone for how they perceive the dentist and whether or not they want to go back for the rest of their life. In a recent study of people who do not visit the dentist regularly (45 percent of American adults fall into this category), a large number could relate their aversion to the dentist office with an experience they had as a child. This makes it critical for your child to have an excellent first visit.
We prefer to see a child at your just for kids dentist when they turn one or as soon as they cut their first tooth, whichever is sooner. In this case, it is unlikely the child will remember very much about the first appointment; however, if you are a diligent parent who focuses on bringing the child in this young, which only 1.5 percent of all parents do, chances are that you will continue to bring them in once every six months, giving us plenty of time to establish a great rapport. However, most parents prefer to wait until there is a perceived need and then bring the child in for the first time. The most important thing you can do for your child when you bring them in for that first visit is to relax. Children sense fear and anxiety, especially in their parents. If your child feels like you are afraid due to your own dental anxieties, they will take on those same emotions. On the other hand, if the child feels like you are calm, relaxed, and trusting of the just for kids dentist, they will also respond the same way. How a child feels during the appointment will affect how they remember it afterward.
There is a strong probability your child will want to know all about the just for kids dentist visit before they make it to the office. This is because children are extremely curious, dealing with their own anxieties by learning about new things. When you do have this conversation, we recommend two things. First, keep it upbeat, talking about all the positives and getting your child excited to come in. Second, realize that details are not your friend. We are experts in laying things out for children in a non-threatening manner that helps stimulate their curiosity and get them interested in what we are doing. In addition to this, we also ask that on your first just for kids dentist appointment, you consider bringing your child in earlier in the day. Early in the day, children tend to be more alert, and hence more curious, which is exactly the best time to get them engaged and to overcome any lingering fears.