The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that children get their first teeth cleaning before the age of one year old. Your child may have only a few teeth at this time, but it is important to get into the habit of having them cleaned while baby teeth are in place so that when adult teeth come in, good dental hygiene is already established. Many small children have separation anxiety issues at about the same age as when you would be going to the appointment. To alleviate fear, here are some tips to use to get through the first appointment without incident.
Visit The Office Beforehand
When you are getting close to taking your child to their own teeth-cleaning appointment, take a trip to a dentist office (such as Myriam Cerezo DMD) to walk through the building with your child. Make sure it is a day when the dentist is available to meet with for a minute and ask if it would be alright if you peek inside one of the rooms before you leave. All of these small steps will help your child become familiarized with the building and the workers before their own appointment. When they come back in for their cleaning, they will be less anxious since they may recognize some of the things from the visit.
Stay Close The Whole Time
Do not leave your child unattended for any length of time in the dentist's office. See if you could get into the dentist's chair with your child, allowing them to sit in your lap during the procedure. If they do not feel abandoned, they will be less likely to cry or have a tantrum in the dentist's chair. You would be able to lie back and have your child rest upon the front of your body when having their mouth checked.
Make It Feel Fun
If you act as if going to the dentist's office is going to be a fun trip, it will make your child less apprehensive about the cleaning. A child can often read parent's body language and signals about feelings. If you are the one afraid for your child, this may be felt. Instead, think about how important teeth cleaning is and how your child might enjoy a new social atmosphere. Make the trip fun for the both of you and your child may enjoy the entire experience. Sing about teeth on the way to the dentist. Skip up the steps on your way into the building. Greet everyone with a smile. Your child will read these signals and might have a great time!