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How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dentist Visit

Over 60% of people have dental anxiety or fear, and it even prevents one-third of Americans from going to the dentist. Unfortunately, this common problem can significantly impact your dental health. That’s why it’s important to set your child on the right path when it comes to their first trip to the dentist.

A child’s early experiences set the groundwork for the rest of their lives. Even if they saw the dentist as an infant, it’s crucial to create a good experience for them as soon as they gain awareness, so what they remember is positive.

At Cherry Family Dental, our team specializes in children’s dentistry to make your child feel warm, welcome, and safe during their visit. Call our office or email us through our website to learn more or schedule your child’s exam. Meanwhile, our team has these tips to make your child’s visit a success.

Don’t forget to be on your best behavior, too

Our children often adopt thoughts and behaviors similar to ours. So, if you dislike going to the dentist or take poor care of your oral health, it’s likely your child will, too. Instead, show them that you value taking care of your dental hygiene and find ways to make it fun and enjoyable. For example, choose your own toothbrushes at the store or brush your teeth together. 

Similarly, bringing your child along to your dental appointments can also help by giving them an opportunity to feel comfortable with the atmosphere and staff. At the same time, they see how well you handle the entire process, too.  

Teach them about the importance of good dental care

The chances are pretty good that your child wants to feel good and sport a bright smile as much as you do. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to hit the books or give lectures on the benefits of dental care. There are easier ways to help your child start understanding the link between good dental health and their overall wellness. Try sprinkling interesting facts into everyday conversation. For example, you could point out that positive oral hygiene can:

Taking good care of your teeth and gums also reduces inflammation and your risk for certain infections.

Don’t ignore anxiety

It’s completely normal to have butterflies about a dental appointment. But, if your child’s anxiety is intense, or if they have an anxiety disorder, it’s essential to talk to us about the possible use of safe and gentle sedatives

Remember, it’s important to encourage your child to talk about their feelings or fears without shaming them. This helps create a positive experience and avoid long-term dental phobias.

Make appointment day fun!

Show your child that taking of their teeth is something to celebrate. Leading up to their routine dental exam visit, decide on a special outing you and your child can enjoy afterward. This could mean stopping by their favorite park, picking up fruit smoothies, or getting a book or toy they’ve desired on the way home. 

Schedule your child’s dental exam with Dr. Misty Henne and Dr. Chloe Chue by calling our office in South San Jose, California, or reaching out to us through our website today.

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