Dental health is just as important for children and their baby teeth as it is for adults. Children should ideally start having regular checkups around their first birthday. It’s normal for kids to feel nervous about their first visit, since this is a new experience for them. Parents can help their children feel less anxious by preparing them ahead of time and explaining what to expect.
Prepare Through Play
Using playtime as a way to prepare kids for their introduction to the world of pediatric dentistry can be highly effective. Parents and children can pretend that they’re at the dentist for a checkup and exam, which will help kids understand what will happen at the actual visit. Children can pretend to be the dentist and examine and clean the teeth of their favorite stuffed animals.
Watch Your Words
Parents should be careful about the words they use when talking to their children about visiting the dentist. Words like “pain” or “hurt” should be avoided, and emphasis should be placed on making the visit seem positive. Parents can talk about how Dr. Kristen Ritzau, DDS will check their child’s smile and see how many teeth they have.
Use Books and Shows
There are plenty of children’s books that focus on visits to the dentist and tooth care. Parents can make these books part of their child’s bedtime reading routine before their first visit to Dr. Ritzau’s dental office in San Clemente, CA. Some children’s TV shows have also dealt with this topic and made dental check-ups seem much less frightening and much more fun for kids.
Educate Them About Their Teeth
Children should already be used to having their teeth brushed daily by the time they visit a pediatric dentistry office like Dr. Ritzau’s for the first time. Parents can use brushing as a way to explain why it’s important for children to take care of their teeth, which includes going for regular checkups.
Visit the Office Beforehand
As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Kristen Ritzau, DDS understands how nervous children can be before their first visit, and encourages parents bring their children into the office beforehand. This gives children a chance to meet the staff and have a look around the place, which will make it seem a bit more familiar when they come in for their first appointment!