It's perfectly normal for your toddler to be frightened of their upcoming dentist appointment, especially if it's their first. As a parent, you've probably already begun looking into ways to make this visit less scary for them. To reduce your anxiety as well as their own, here are three tips to help you and your child enjoy the visit.
1. Younger is better
Taking your toddler to the dentist as soon as they get their first tooth is essential for ensuring that their tiny chompers are growing in properly. The dentist will also give you all-important advice on the dental issues parents worry about, such as thumb sucking and pacifier use.
Early visits to the dentist can also help your child overcome their fear of this essential act. Starting at a young age allows toddlers to gradually develop a relationship with their dentist while also becoming acquainted with the clinic. Once they are comfortable, the dentist will start introducing them to new dental instruments one at a time in order to reduce the anxiety that they can cause. This way, when the time comes for your child to begin routine dental check-ups, the appointments will be a breeze for both of you.
2. Dentist playtime is essential
Every parent understands that one of the most effective ways to introduce new routines to their children is through playtime. So, before you schedule your toddler's dentist appointment, invite them to act it out with you. To make it more realistic, you can buy a child's dentist toy set, but simply taking out a toothbrush and counting the child's teeth will suffice. You can make the game even more entertaining for them by having them play the dentist and a stuffed animal play the patient.
It's also a good idea to act out the specific procedures that will take place during their appointment, such as brushing and flossing their teeth. If your child knows what to expect once the appointment begins, they will feel much less fear and anxiety.
3. Select the best time of day
The appointment time may not be important to you as an adult, but it has the potential to make or break your toddler's first visit to the dentist. Children become more anxious when they experience something new while tired, hungry, upset, or overstimulated. As a result, you should avoid scheduling an appointment during or right before their afternoon nap time. Instead, choose a time when your child is at his or her most energetic and responsive.
For more information, contact a company such as Platinum Dental Studio.