It’s easy to understand how a child’s first visit for a dental checkup can potentially turn into a frightening experience. From their point of view, they’re visiting an unfamiliar place filled with all sorts of objects completely foreign to them while a stranger places metallic instruments in the mouth. No parent wants a child to face a scary situation, but taking one’s child to the dentist is very important for oral hygiene. With that in mind, your Chattanooga Pediatric Dentist at Alani Dental Center offer a few suggestions to make that all-important first dental visit an easier experience for your child.

Family Dentistry The Earlier the Better

Once the first tooth is visible, parents may want to introduce a child to the dentist. Alani offers dental care for the whole family, including the little ones. We work to create a relaxing, fun environment so everyone feels relaxed. Our Comfort Corner offers amenities to insert of bit of the familiar into our Chattanooga Dental Care Facility on Gunbarrel Road. Children can put on headphones while lying in exam chairs and listen while watching Netflix or YouTube on a pivoting television monitor above. The first appointment can give children a chance to meet the staff and dentist so he or she can see there’s nothing to be afraid of during visits. Children love the scenic view from our office windows.

Keep a Positive Attitude Before Visiting a Chattanooga Dental Center

Our children sense situations based on how parents react to them. If mom or dad are overheard talking about past pain and discomfort at a dental visit, this may cause unnecessary anxiety. A study published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry found that if one family member was anxious about dental visits, that fear was oftentimes passed onto other members. The staff at our Chattanooga Pediatric Dentist office carefully choose wording to accentuate the positive over vocabulary that may seem scary or alarming instead of fun and good. Besides, today’s dental offices offer a different experience than parents might have known as kids. We can prevent patient discomfort using a nasal spray as an alternative to the needles historically used for dental anesthesia.

Avoid Bribery for Good Behavior

Promising a special treat if your child behaves may inadvertently boost apprehension and send the wrong message if the prize is a sugary treat that can cause cavities. Experts say DO praise the child for good behavior and bravery. Offering a sticker or small toy as encouragement is fine every once in a while, but you don’t want to incite a tantrum if the kid is not promised a treat in exchange for behaving. Some fussing can naturally be expected from young patients.

Emphasize the Importance of Brushing and Good Oral Health

You want to accentuate the fact that visiting a dentist is a necessity to grow up with strong, beautiful, healthy teeth. Before their first tooth arrives, in fact, you may want to give your child a toothbrush to pretend brushing just like the grownups do every morning and before bed. Role-playing on their own mouth (or cleaning the teeth of a stuffed animal or doll) can introduce good routines that become life-long habits. Taking good care of their oral health at home makes future visits to your dentist in Chattanooga TN far easier to experience than someone whose teeth and gums are neglected.

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Written by Steven Stiefel