December 7, 2015
Greetings loyal readers! Welcome back to the dental health blog of Lapalco Family Dental in Marrero, LA. Recently, we had a patient asked about how to approach bringing their child to the dentist office for the first-time. We thought that was an absolutely excellent question, so in today’s post we’re going to look at what to expect when you take your child to our office for the first-time.
Today we’re going to look at several topics for you to consider before your child’s first dental appointment. We’ll discuss how you can find a good dentist for children. We also give you tips on how you can answer your children’s questions about visiting the dentist, and how you can be supportive of them.
Your child’s first dentist appointment is extremely important. As with most fears and phobias, dental phobia tends to first develop in childhood. Dental phobia affects millions of adults; in fact several studies have estimated that as many as half of all Americans avoid the dentist until absolutely necessary due to dental fears or phobia.
This can be problematic because it allows a small problem – such as a minor cavity – to develop into a much larger problem. If cavities are allowed to grow, they become more expensive to repair. While a cavity can often be filled with a quick filling, if they grow large enough you may be at risk for losing the tooth!
The best way to avoid dental phobia is to prevent them from developing in the first place! During your child’s formative years their minds are still moldable. Early exposure to the dentist’s office can prevent them from ever fearing the dentist! But children don’t know what to expect when they’re visiting the dentist for the first-time, so you play an important role in preventing their fear.
As with all things in life, your children look to you for guidance when it comes to a dental appointment. Even if you’re uneasy about visiting the dentist, don’t allow your children to see your anxiety or fear. If you act brave about visiting the dentist, your children will do the same.
The trick to transitioning your children into good dental habits begins by selecting a good dentist. There are many skilled dentists out there who simply aren’t great with children. At Lapalco Family Dentistry, we have years of experience helping children feel at ease during their dental care. We take the “family” part of our name very seriously.
During your child’s first appointments, we do our best to keep the appointments completely carefree. We move at the speed of your child, and take the time to answer their questions. We believe we are one of the few offices in the area with the perfect balance of comfortable care and a good chair-side manner.
Before your child’s first appointment, do your best to answer any questions they have. It’s best to be honest but gentle in your answers. There’s no reason you need to potentially frighten your children with stories about negative dental experiences. Extraneous information about needles or drills should also be avoided; during your child’s first appointment we will just be getting them adjusted to the dental experience.
Should your child ask a question you can’t answer, then consider writing it down. You can then encourage your child to ask their dentist the question during the appointment. This can help establish a relationship of trust between your child and our staff. Asking us questions also helps your child to develop an inquisitive and sharp mind.
But the most important thing you can do is simply be supportive. Put on a smiling and brave face – no matter how you personally feel about visiting the dentist. After your child’s appointment, ask him or her questions about their experience. Talking about the experience can help them feel at ease.
When is a good time to take your child to our office? The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist in the first six months after they develop a tooth. If this time has past, it’s still a good idea to schedule an appointment. The sooner we see your child, the sooner we can get them on the path towards good oral health!
Make An Appointment
Are you ready to schedule an appointment for your child? Then contact us at Lapalco Family Dental in Marrero, LA. You can reach our office at 504-264-6461.
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