Looking to schedule your child's first appointment with the dentist? If so, you will most likely try to find a dentist that is kid friendly, which will make the whole experience more comfortable for your child. There are a few things you should look for in your new dentist.
Comfortable Waiting Area
Chances are that you are going to be spending a lot of time in the waiting room prior to your child's visit. When checking out dentists, be sure to take note of what kind of waiting area they have for kids. Are there toys that they can play with, or is it kind of bland, where all you can do is sit and read a magazine? Your dentist is somebody that you could be visiting twice a year for the foreseeable future, so you'll want their waiting area to be comfortable for your child.
When your child is in the dentist chair, they are going to be spending a lot of time looking towards the ceiling as the dentist looks at their teeth. Your dentist may have a fun ceiling that they can look at while in the chair, which can help distract your child from what is going on. For instance, there may be fun lights that change colors, different characters that they are familiar with, or even sprawling artwork with things that the dentist tries to have your child find.
Sometimes the best distraction can be a little bit of television. Some dentists have a television in the exam room that allows the child to zone out and watch some cartoons. Chances are that the child is going to be more tuned in to what is happening in the show than what the dentist is doing in their mouth. Distractions like these can really help with a child that is afraid of going to the dentist, so don't rule out the idea of some television, even if you are against having screen time at a young age.
A toddler's favorite question to ask is "why?", and they will be curious about what is happening during their dental visit. Ask if the dentist is willing to talk to your child through the appointment and explain to them what is happening.
Fun Flavored Toothpaste
Ask about if the dentist offers fun flavors of toothpaste to use during the teeth cleaning. Your child will be more excited about the cleaning process if they get to pick flavors like bubble gum, rather than being forced to use mint.