Tips for your Child’s First Dental Appointment

tips for childs first dental appointmentSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Is your child afraid of visiting the dentist or doctor? Are you nervous for your child because this is their first appointment and you don’t know how it will go? If you answered yes these questions, then Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here to help you and your child create positive associations with dental care. Follow this guide before your child’s first dental appointment with our Scotts Valley family dentists.

The Importance of Early Dental Care

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry wants to prevent dental issues and keep your child smiling. Our dentists Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian and Dr. Max Ebrahimian believe that oral health is a key component to your systemic health. They also believe that there is nothing more important than your children. That’s why our family dentists in Los Gatos encourage a comprehensive program of preventive care. That includes promoting good oral hygiene habits at home, visiting our Scotts Valley dental office for cleanings and exams every six months, and conducting diagnostic tests to identify any potential problems before they become more serious.

We have four simple steps that help prevent dental issues, and encourage positive associations with dental care for children.

Step 1: Encourage Regular Brushing and Flossing

When creating positive associations, it’s best to start with the basics. Encouraging brushing and flossing should always be your first step in helping your child understand the importance of good dental health. With children, this can be as simple as “monkey see, monkey do.” If you make brushing an enjoyable family activity, it will show them how to care for teeth properly and that you also think it’s important while still having fun. Healthy at-home dental care habits will lead to fewer dental visits where intensive procedures are needed, which is a positive for your child.

Step 2: Avoid Certain Words or Using a Negative Tone

Tone and word choice can change a conversation with anyone, but they can sway a child that was uncertain about something. That’s why words like “pain,” “shot,” or “needle” are not choice words to use when talking about your child’s pediatric dentists in Scotts Valley.

Step 3: Avoid Bribery

Positive reinforcement is not the same as a bribe. Bribing your child to sit still at the dentist, or not cry while getting a filling sends mixed signals. Your child will focus on the bribe, and not the importance of a healthy smile. Instead of offering a bribe for their good behavior at the dentist, encourage your child by using phrases such as, “You are such a big boy (or girl),” “It makes me proud to see you act so brave.”

Step 4: Talk to Your Child

We saved the most important step for last. Dental anxiety could affect anyone, but maintaining open lines of communication creates positive experiences, even for dental visits. Talk to your child about what to expect at the dentist. Avoid using words like sharp or painful, as they may invoke fear in your child. Discuss the benefits of good oral health, and how dental visits are apart of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Allow your child to ask questions, which may ease their anxiety or fears toward going to the dentist.

Pediatric Dental Care in Scotts Valley

The American Dental Association suggests children see the dentist by their first birthday or when their first baby tooth erupts. If you’re located in the areas of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry wants to help your child achieve a healthy smile and positive dental experiences. Contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today by calling (831) 438-4411 to schedule your child’s first appointment.