4 Tips to Help Your Child Have a Good Dental Visit

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 2:40 PM

1. Talk the Talk
Discussion is a huge part of preparing your child for a successful dental visit. At any age, you want to talk about why you brush and floss your teeth. (Something as simple as: “We brush and floss to get rid of sugar bugs.” Is a good place to start.) You also want to discuss what happens at a dentist and why it is so fun! Even if it isn’t your favorite place to be, creating a positive image for your child will help him or her.
2. Parent First, Child Second
At around 2 ½ to 3, we feel is the best time for a first visit. Younger than that, we are not able to do a whole lot and older than that teeth may have larger problems, that could’ve been avoided. However, if at any time you see a concern, please contact us.) We find it helpful if Mom or Dad schedules their dental cleaning appointment first and the child goes right after. We like to involve the children with Mom or Dad’s visit. They sit close to Mom, are able to see into her mouth, help find sugar bugs and even use the magic straw to catch water in Mom’s mouth. If they see how much fun Mom and Dad are having getting their teeth cleaned, typically they have fun too!
3. Bye Mom and Dad, I’m Brave
Part of having successful dental visits, depends on the relationship we are building with your child. We want to get to know your child! After a time or two of having a parent back with them, we have found that when children come back on their own, the appointment goes better, more treatment is accomplished and the relationship between the child and the dental professional is established. This not only empowers your child, but also fosters responsibility on the child’s part to take care of their own teeth.
4. Consistency
Make dental visits a priority. When your child is familiar with going to the dental office, they will know what to expect and soon it will be no big deal and they will look forward to getting a new tooth brush and picking out a prize. And we look forward to not only caring for your child’s teeth, but also finding out about how their t-ball game went, what instrument they’re playing in school and how their drivers test went.

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Reply Ben Allen
1:35 PM on December 28, 2016 
I appreciate the tips on helping your child have a good dental visit. I agree that it is a huge help to talk about the visit before you get there, that way your child knows what to expect and they won't be surprised or as scared when they arrive. I would imagine that a lot of a child's fear comes from them not knowing what is going to happen.
Reply Taylor Bishop
3:22 PM on January 18, 2018 
Thanks for these tips for helping a child in their visit to the dentist. I didn't know you can actually have the parent go first so that they can see what it's like. I wonder if it could also be good to try to find a way to keep them watching, so that they understand more about what is happening.
Reply Emily Joshua
7:14 AM on July 27, 2018 
According to me, consistency is very important. If a person visits dentist regulalrly, the anxiety which they suffer will reduce after some time and teeth will definitely glow and be healthy.
Reply Georgia B
4:26 PM on August 17, 2018 
Thanks for the tip to have the parent go first and then have the child go right after. It's such a fun idea to have the child be involved with their parent's checkup! I'll have to look into finding a family dentistry that might be alright with doing something like that for my little girl.
Reply Derek Dewitt
8:32 AM on October 17, 2018 
My kids are still afraid of the dentist, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about about having your child go in for an appointment right after you. I'll be sure to do this so they are involved and can see that having your teeth cleaned is fun.
Reply Derek Dewitt
9:03 AM on March 25, 2019 
I am getting ready to take my kid to the dentist for the first time. I like your point about being consistent with your visits. I'll be sure to do often so he's familiar with the office.
Reply Oscar Morrison
9:07 AM on December 10, 2019 
I like your idea of having parents go before the kids so they can watch the process happen and feel less scared by it. My son's getting ready to go to the dentist for the first time and is a bit nervous. If we can make his first dentist experience positive, we hope he'll be more comfortable going again in the future.