Top tips to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment - plus how you can afford it
The dentist can seem like a scary place - even for some adults. But it doesn’t have to be. It is essential to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment so they’re calm and comfortable. Here’s what you should do.
We’ve got to be honest, the dentist isn’t our favourite place either but we’ve often found that the anxiety and anticipation of the appointment are worse than the appointment itself.
Now imagine being a child who has no idea what to expect and hearing some adults mention their stress around the dentist. It can become a little terrifying but you can help your kid feel calm about their first appointment and we’ve got some pretty fantastic tips on how you can do just that.
How to prepare your child for their first dentist appointment
1. Choose the right dentist
This is a really important thing to consider. You might already have your own dentist that you’re happy with which is great, for you. But the same dentist might not be the right choice for your children.
This isn’t the case for ALL dentists but in many instances, your professional and sterile dentist's office won’t make your kid feel very comfortable. A great children’s dentist will have fun activities in the waiting room to help kids feel less anxious and to make waiting more interesting.
You also need to find a dentist that is patient, gentle and has experience dealing with kids who are hyperactive or nervous and fidgety. It’s also a great idea to find a dentist who will take the time to explain everything to your kids before doing anything and someone who will make an effort to build trust with your children.
2. Tell them what to expect
Before going to the dental visit, have a conversation with your little one about the appointment. Explain to them what they’ll go through and what the dentist might do or say.
Typically, their first appointment is a general check-up and the dentist will assess the health of their teeth and gums. They’ll also chat to your child about the importance of looking after their teeth.
When you’re explaining the appointment to your kid, try to be as positive as you can. Even if you don’t love going to the dentist, don’t let your child know that.
There are many children’s books and shows that also talk about a child’s first dentist’s appointment. Have a look at:
- Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer)
- Dentist Trip (Peppa Pig)
- Elmo Visits the Dentist by P.J. Shaw
3. Schedule your appointment for the right time
Kiddies are usually the most cooperative in the morning. They’re fresh and full of energy, ready for the day. It’s a better idea to schedule their appointment as early as possible so they’re in a good mood.
As the day goes on children tend to become tired and cranky so avoid scheduling their dentist appointment later in the day or close their nap times.
Pro tip: Inquire if it’s possible for you and your child to visit the dental practice for a tour and to meet the dentist before their actual appointment.
4. Adopt a positive attitude towards dental visits
It’s pretty crazy what kids pick up on and a major thing is how you’re feeling. Your child will gauge your attitude towards things like going to the dentist so if you’re anxious, they’ll be anxious too.
Try to be as calm as you can and avoid conversations about your own painful or scary experiences when it comes to the dentist.
Be positive and enthusiastic and explain that checkups are intended to preserve their dental health and keep their smiles sparkly!
5. Don’t stress during the visit
A kid-friendly dentist has more than likely seen it all. From tantrums to complaints, they know what they could potentially be getting into so there’s nothing you need to stress about.
The first visit might be the scariest but it will get easier. Rather than focusing on the panic your child might experience, draw more attention to everything that goes right. Commend them for overcoming their fear and express how proud you are of how they’re handling the appointment.
How to afford your child’s first dentist appointment
Dental health is vital but it can get a little pricey. The worst thing you can do is never take your child to the dentist until there is a big problem. The longer you leave something, the more it can cost you to fix it.
That’s why we’re here and by ‘we’, I mean Oneplan. You won’t have to worry about how expensive going to the dentist is when you’re with us. All of our medical insurance plans cover dentistry so no matter what your budget is, we’ve got you covered.
Better yet? We let you go to any dentist of your choice! So if you’ve spent ages finding the perfect dentist for your little one, you can still go to them. That’s not all…
Thanks to the Oneplan App and our Onecard, you’ll get paid BEFORE you see the dentist. No more waiting ages for your insurer to process your claim while you pay upfront. Simply log onto the Oneplan App and process your claim, the funds (according to your specific limits outlined in your plan) will then be sent directly to your OneCard.
There’s no need to stress about your child’s first dental visit or your budget, we’re here for you!
Yours in hassle-free health insurance,