Dear Parents and Guardians,
Your child's first visit to the dentist should be an enjoyable experience. As parents, we worry that they will experience pain or discomfort. These Worries tend to be based on our own personal experiences. I have found that those children who are fearful during their first visit will generally meet one of the following criteria:
1. They have fearful, nervous or worrisome parents.
2. They know someone who has told them "fearful things" about the dentist, including friends and siblings.
3. They have been scolded about possibly having cavities or not brushing well so "the dentist is going to
be mad" at them.
4. They have been told that they will get "the shot".
5. They have been told that "it's going to hurt to go to the dentist".
Children naturally do not have any knowledge about what it's like to go to the dentist. Therefore, it is better to let a trained professional address the issue of going to the dentist. We are trained to use age-appropriate phrases in order for children to understand what it going on in their mouth. Please refrain from warning your child about anything they may experience.
I also find that children do best when parents stay outside of the operatory. Children tend to whine or cry at their parents so that their "unknown experience" can end. Without their parents in sight, children do very well. Many times they do better than their own parents do in the dental chair. If you feel that it is absolutely necessary for you as a parent to keep your child in view, we prefer if you would watch from the hallways. Seating is provided for your comfort.
Finally, I encourage you to meet with me regarding any issues or concerns you may have about your child, pediatric dentistry or their first visit. I look forward to working with you to provide your child with a positive dental experience.
Sandra Reyes, DDS