Your Child's First Visit
The main focus of your child’s first visit to the dentist is to get to know the doctor in a friendly, non-intimidating way. It is typically a short visit with an easy exam and minimal treatment. Parents will be provided with basic oral health information that is age-appropriate for the child. With this positive introduction, we can set the stage for a lifetime of good dental experiences.
Depending on the age of the child, the doctor may use a “Tell/Show/Do” approach for the first visit. This method involves the staff explaining and showing the new patient what we do before we do it. It’s one way to help patients become comfortable with the new experience.
To prepare for the visit, it is a great idea for parents to read a book about going to the dentist with their child. There are many great choices available, such as Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist. Speak positively about the experience to your child as well. Tell your child that the doctor is friendly and will be gentle at the appointment.
To minimize anxiety, it is wise to avoid using words like hurt, shot or needle. Even if the term is put in a positive context such as, “It won’t hurt,” it may still suggest something negative about what the experience will be like.
As the best part of the whole appointment, patients will receive a very nice, new toothbrush when they are all done and, more importantly, it won’t hurt… not even a bit!