It is very important to start teaching your children good oral health habits early on. It is also important to teach them the importance of brushing and flossing, and you should take the to their first dentist appointment around the age of three. If you need to find a facility who specializes family dentistry in Richmond VA or surrounding areas, there are a few places that you can look.
Internet Search: The internet is one of the most efficient ways to find a good dentist for your child. There are several sites where you can enter your zip code and how far you are willing to travel, and several results will show up. Many of these sites will also give you references for each of the listings that they provide.
Friend or Family Member Referral: If you have a friend or family member with children, you should ask them who they take their child to. If they are happy with the dentist, chances are that you will be as well.
Insurance Company: You can contact your insurance company for a list of dental providers who accept your insurance. After you have a few names, you can do some research on their credentials.
If your child is like most, they will be apprehensive about seeing the dentist for the first time. To make the visit easier on your child and yourself, there are a few things that you can do to prepare.
Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist
It is a good idea to take your child to a dentist who specializes in children. The waiting room in a typical pediatric dentist’s office is very child friendly, and the exam rooms are as well. Also, pediatric dentists have techniques that they use to calm your children down.
There are a variety of children’s books that you can read to your child to prepare them for their first visit to the dentist. Most of these books are about the main character’s first visit to the dentist. When you read the book to your child, they will have a better understanding of what is going to happen during the visit. You can find these books in your local library, your local bookstore, or online.
Schedule the Appointment at the Right Time
The time that you schedule your child’s first appointment has a great deal to do with how their first visit goes. It is best to schedule the appointment after your child has had lunch and a nap. If you go in for the appointment and your child is tired, they will be very cranky for their appointment.
Avoid Saying the Word “Hurt”
When you are explaining your child’s first visit to the dentist, you should avoid using the word “hurt.” Even if you say that the appointment won’t hurt, you child will only hear the word “hurt.” If your child asks if the appointment will hurt, you can tell them no, just don’t mention the word.
Take a Tour
If possible, you should set up a tour of the dentist’s office. You can let your child see the waiting room and the exam room. If there is a hygienist available, they can show your child the various tools that the dentist will use, and explain what each one does. If your child knows what to expect, it will help them feel less scared and anxious.
Give Them Some Control
If you are having trouble getting your child in the car for their appointment, you should give them some control. Let them choose the toy that they are going to bring to the appointment or the outfit that they are going to wear. When they feel that they have some sort of control, they may feel better about their first visit.
Watch What Older Siblings Say
It is common knowledge that older siblings enjoy teasing younger siblings. If your older children have been to the dentist, it is important that they don’t tease your younger child by trying to scare them about the visit. Explain to your older children that they were scared before their first visit to the dentist also, and they should be there to make them feel better.
Your child’s first appointment should be a simple one. Often times, the dentist will count your child’s teeth, and use a dental pick to check for cavities. In order to get the most out of your child’s first appointment, you should properly prepare them. Being prepared will make the visit much easier on you and your child.