It’s common to hear someone say, “I’d rather be sitting in a dentist’s chair” as a comparative statement when describing an unpleasant experience in life. It’s true. Many people have a negative association with the dentist’s office and would generally wish to do almost anything to avoid going to a dentist.

The reasons for this vary, but negativity is very real, and it can usually find its roots in one’s childhood experience with the dentist. What’s worse is that this negative vibe translates into fewer dental visits in adulthood, which is bad for your overall dental health.

A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded appointment. One of the best ways to tackle this perception is to bring your child to the dentist by their first birthday. When a child is one year old is the best time to bring them to their first dentist appointment. When parents only bring their children to the dentist for emergencies, those children will likely grow up to be adults who only visit the dentist in emergencies. Bringing in a child as young as a year old helps to avoid the “emergency” association with the dentist office and sets the stage for a more disciplined, and ultimately, more healthy approach to his or her own dental care down the road.

Fear of the dentist can stem from comments made about the dentist, such as using a visit to the dentist as a disciplinary “threat”. To that end, it’s important to never associate the dentist with pain and to avoid using words or phrases like “Pain” or “Hurt” as these can trigger anxiety in a child and a negative association with the dentist.

It’s more than simply helping a child become more comfortable at the dentist office. It’s also important that children have the best dental care from the earliest possible age with a dentist who understands the unique needs of pediatric dentistry and who seeks to interact with parents effectively to become aware of any unique issues that may arise as a child develops over time.

For more information about your child’s First Dental Visit, please visit our page!