8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Toddler for Their First Dental Visit

Are you getting ready for your toddler's first dental visit? Are you worried that it'll be a struggle the whole way through?

It's important to your child's overall health that you find a way to create a good relationship between them and their dentist. By starting young, it'll be much easier to convince your child to continue with regular visits, even once they've grown.

That's why we've collected some of the top tips to get both you and your toddler ready for the visit. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Use Positivity

Did you know that around 36% of the population has a fear of dentists? That's why your toddler's first-time dental visit is the best way to create a good foundation for the rest of their life.

A lot of fear for dentists comes through the subconscious way we talk to kids about dentistry. If we use frightening words, children remember that fear when it's their turn to go.

Whenever the subject of the dentist comes up, it's important to think about using only positive words. This way, you're teaching your child to associate positive things with the dentist before they even go to their first appointment.

2. Create Educational Playtime

Humans often fear things that they don't understand. While there's no need to get into the intricate details, you can make your 2-year old's first dental visit better by encouraging them to play pretend. Get involved in the playtime and try to emulate a dentist's visit in a way that's both fun and educational without being overwhelming.

With this kind of foundation, your child will have a better understanding of what to expect when it's time for a real visit. Instead of feeling afraid, they'll remember the fun they've had while playing at being a dentist.

This carries over into their first visit and allows your child to feel much more comfortable.

3. Choose a Good Appointment Time

Every toddler has a different routine and you'll want to keep this in mind when you choose their appointment time. It's better to pick a time of day where your child feels more relaxed and at ease.

Going before naptime often helps prevent any tantrums since a child won't have the energy to engage in being scared or angry. On the other hand, some children do best right after naptime.

It's best to think of your child's demeanor before you make the appointment to maximize their good mood during the visit.

4. Read Books Together

Another great way to get your child used to the idea of the dentist's office is to read books together about the subject. There are many types of children's books that take place in the dentist's office meant for exactly this purpose. The good news is that these books are as engaging as they are educational.

Instead of going for your regular storybook before bed, try reading a couple of these dentist-specific books. It'll go a long way into giving your child a headstart in feeling comfortable with their dentist.

5. Meet the Staff Beforehand

Your baby's first dental visit will have a better outcome if you're able to meet the dentist and their staff before the appointment. It's overwhelming for a child of any age to go to a dentist's office and meet a stranger who wants to poke around in their mouth.

By meeting with the dentist beforehand, they'll begin to build a friendly relationship with their dentist. This turns the entire experience into something less frightening for your toddler.

Get into contact with your local dentist and see if they're open to the idea of your child meeting them before the appointment. Many companies understand the importance of making a child comfortable and have no problem with a short meeting.

6. Bring a Toy

Toys are always a sense of comfort for a young child and it's good to use this to your advantage. Bringing a small toy to the visit can smooth over any lingering fears that your child feels before and during the appointment.

You'll want to make sure that the toy isn't obtrusive so that the dentist can do everything they need during the visit.

Sometimes, instead of a toy, music or a favorite tv show is a great alternative. If nothing else, your child can wear earbuds during the visit and listen to something to distract them from the dentist's work.

7. Focus on the Good Parts

Although many people dislike the dentist, there are always good things to enjoy after the visit. Things like clean and healthy teeth and lessened pain make everything worth it. It's these things you'll want to focus on with your toddler's experience at the dentist's office.

What makes it even easier is the fact that most dentists offer treats or little toys as rewards for a child's bravery. Try to explain the good points to your child so that they'll have these things to think about instead of any discomfort they might feel during the visit.

It's also a great idea to offer to go to see a movie or some other fun activity after the visit. It's the perfect way to put a positive spin on the entire day.

8. Find the Right Dentist

All of these tips won't do much if you don't visit the right dentist for you and your toddler. You'll want to find an office that goes the extra mile for your child. It's also important to find a dentist that understands the fear that many children feel during a visit.

Make sure to do your research before making the first appointment so that you find the right match. Feeling comfortable with the dentist makes a big difference in your child's overall experience.

Ensure Your Toddler's First Dental Visit Is a Success

By following these tips and tricks, you'll have no trouble getting your toddler to feel comfortable during their first dental visit. With the right preparation, the dentist will no longer seem like such a scary and frightening thing.

Instead, your toddler will see it as a grand adventure!

Now that you're ready to make your child's first appointment, contact us to learn more about our services. We'll work together to make certain you and your toddler walk away feeling happy!