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How To Prepare For Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

THERE’S NOTHING BETTER than seeing a child’s smile light up a room. While parents understand the importance of keeping that smile healthy by regularly visiting Dr. McOmie, some children are a bit apprehensive about making that visit. Here at McOmie Family Dentistry, we have patients that started with us at 3 and are now in college. Once we get a child established if they catch you going to the dentist without them they will be mad at you for not bringing them as well. Our pediatric dental patients love coming in we have a fun and caring environment.

Your child’s first dentist appointment may be the most important one of their life!

Your child’s first dentist appointment sets the tone for their entire lives. If the first visit is a train wreck they will NEVER forget it and it will lead to fear they will have their entire life. The first dental visit here will be fun and rewarding making it a positive experience is our #1 goal it is a mission we can not fail. Once we get that coming to the dentist is fun the kids look forward to coming and you will be able to see they have zero anxiety about coming in.

There Are Many Potential Causes For A Child’s Dental Anxiety

There may be several reasons why your little one isn’t too excited about visiting the dentist. It could be fear of the unknown, or maybe a friend or a sibling has told them a scary story about what happens during a dental visit. A parent’s own apprehension about visiting the dentist can even influence their child’s opinion about their upcoming dental exam.

Whatever the case may be, we want to help you prepare your child for his or her upcoming visit and help relieve some of that stress!

Try These Tips To Help Prepare For Their Next Visit!

Start early. Dr. McOmie recommends coming in for their first visit at age 3. Not only is this important to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy, but it will also help them grow used to seeing the dentist on a regular basis. Sometimes at this first visit, we may not get much done in the parent’s eyes, but it is good conditioning for the child.

Try a visit just to look around.   

Sometimes it is good just to bring a child in prior to their first “real” dental appointment. They can see the office talk to the staff and meet Dr. Mark McOmie. This visit can help make their first real appointment less scary.

Explain what will happen during their visit. Fear of the unknown can be a significant contributor to stress leading up to a child’s dental visit. When you explain the basics of what will happen during their visit, they’ll know what to expect when they arrive at the dentist’s office.

Stress Can Affect Your Child’s Oral Health

Not only will decreased stress make their appointment more enjoyable, but lower overall stress will help their oral health too!

Studies have shown that children who experience greater levels of stress than their peers tend to develop a greater number of dental cariesHigh levels of stress increase the number of salivary cortisols and cavity-forming bacteria in the mouth, making it more difficult for them to ward off cavities.

Stress can come from any number of sources in a child’s life. It may be the result of a big move or it could be caused by pressures at school such as difficult classwork or trouble with friends. Whatever the source, if you notice your child seems stressed, there are plenty of ways to help such as:

  • Spend quality time with your child daily
  • Ensure they get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet
  • Talk with your child about what may be causing their stress
  • Schedule wellness visits with the doctor and follow-up visits to the dentist and let them know what they can expect at these visits

We Can Help Your Child Have An Enjoyable Visit

As your child continues to grow, we want to ensure they develop a happy, healthy smile. We strive to help them feel comfortable during their visit so they can develop good oral health habits for a lifetime. If you have any questions about how you can prepare your child for their next appointment, let us know! We’d love to help you prepare them for the most enjoyable visit possible.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family. Give us a call (423) 899-1112 to with your questions or to schedule a dental appointment for your child. 

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