Taking your child to his or her first dental appointment can be a scary time for both you and him or her. You may be concerned about his or her behavior in a brand new environment. There are many sights and sounds at a dental office, and it is important that you do what you can to prepare your child for the first visit to a pediatric dentist Jacksonville FL.
Use a Mirror and Flashlight
You can buy plastic mouth mirrors at most drugstores, and you can use these to practice with your child. Shine a flashlight in his or her mouth, and get him or her used to having the mirror placed on the teeth. This can help alleviate some initial fears at the dentist and can make the appointment run more smoothly.
Do Not Use Scare Tactics
Some parents make the mistake of trying to scare their children into behaving well at the dental office. For example, the mother might tell the child, “The dentist will pull out all your teeth if you are bad.” This does nothing to help the situation; the child is scared, and the dentist has a patient who is too terrified to cooperate.
Talk About the Positive Things
Instead of focusing on the scary things at the dentist, talk to your child about the positive experience he or she will have. For example, you can talk about how he or she will leave with a new toothbrush. You can explain that good behavior might even mean getting to pick a prize at the end of the appointment.
When you keep these practical tips in mind, you can help your child have a great first experience at the dentist. He or she will be excited for subsequent visits, and the appointments will no longer be something for you to dread.