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Saint-Lambert (Québec), J4R 2T1
Good preparation will ensure that your child perceives this first visit as an interesting and exciting event. Here are a few tips that can put you on the right track.
Just like in the case of personal hygiene, your child can understand a cause-effect relationship. For example, if they play in the mud and get dirty hands or do finger painting, cleaning is necessary to get rid of the dirt. Similarly, the child will understand the need to brush their teeth after eating.
There are many books and cartoons in which characters go to the dentist. Using them to introduce the next visit to the dental clinic will make it seem closer to the daily reality of your child. He or she may say “after all, if Caillou finds it pleasant, why not me? ”
Refrain from talking about pain and cavities if your child does not want to cooperate. It is preferable not to mention your negative experiences in order to avoid inducing feelings of anxiety and fear to your child. In the same way that you will introduce them to school life, you can adopt a positive attitude so that your child will perceive the first visit to the dentist as a new and interesting experience.
Explain to your child that the first visit will take place in a clinic with a special chair and a special light and that the dentist will wear a mask and gloves for protection against small microbes. You will avoid the destabilization that a child may experience during the first visit to the dentist. If you are pretty comfortable during your own appointments, some dentists may accept that you bring your child along at your appointment so you can show them that it is a positive event! Ask our staff about our policy on this subject.
Fortunately, many children associate dental appointments with a positive experience. In fact, the waiting rooms are often equipped with an area where the little ones can draw, play, read, or look at some books.
In order to acquaint your child with the clinic before their first appointment, it may be a good idea to bring your child with you for a short visit during the appointment of another member of the family. If this is not possible, arrive fairly early so that your child can enjoy some free time before being called into the examination room.
When your child will attend their first appointment, the dentist will be reassuring and speaking to them calmly. The dentist will ask the child to sit down on the chair and show them some equipment and instruments like the small mirror and the air/water syringe. According to the cooperation and comfort of the child, the dentist will proceed to an examination of the mouth and continue if possible with a polishing of the teeth.
A little treat!
After a dental cleaning, the dentist usually gives a new toothbrush to the child. Some clinics offer stickers or small surprises or reward children who have no cavities by posting their photo on the wall of fame.
Regardless of the reward, your child will feel pride in reaching this milestone! Support and encourage your child to take care of their teeth!