Time the Appointment Well
Make sure that you book the appointment for a time when your child is likely to be well rested, relaxed, and not dealing with any unusual stressors. Also make sure that your child has eaten relatively recently before the appointment–we all know that hunger can affect mood and make potentially stressful situations more difficult.
Don’t Treat it Like a Scary Event
Many parents are so worried about their child feeling afraid of the dentist that they actually contribute to that fear. If you’re child isn’t already exhibiting concern about the appointment, avoid saying things like “there’s nothing to be afraid of” or “it won’t hurt” because that brings up the idea that there is a possibility of something being frightening or painful. Treat the appointment like a simple, routine event and consider rewarding your child with something positive after, like a treat or a new toy.
Visit the Dental Office Before the Appointment
If you can, drop by the dental office with your child a week or two before their appointment just to see the dental office, say hello, and have a quick look around. This way, when you come back for your child’s appointment, the setting won’t be totally unfamiliar and will make your child feel more comfortable.
Pack Comfort Items
If your child has a stuffed toy, blanket, or other item that they find comforting, bring it along so that they can hold it during their checkup. It can be very helpful to have a familiar item that makes them feel safe in order to stave off any anxiety.
Choose the Right Dentist
When making your child’s first appointment, choose a dentist that has lots of experience with children. At Tsawwassen Family Dental, our dentists and hygienists work with children regularly and know the best ways to make sure they are feeling as comfortable as possible.