for their first dental checkup
If your child is afraid of new situations, you might expect some drama as he or she slides into the dentist's chair for the first time. Even a generally calm child may be a bit uneasy.
These suggestions can help you prepare your little one for that first office visit and lower the level of stress when it's time to open wide:
Finding the right dentist
Ask the dentist how often he or she sees children in the office. Studies show that children tend to be more relaxed when the dentist uses kid-friendly techniques. When looking for a dentist, ask what measures the dentist and his or her staff take to keep their patients relaxed and comfortable. Listen for things such as:
You may want the option of sedation in case your child becomes especially fearful or requires extensive dental work. If so, ask if the dentist uses nitrous oxide in such situations. After breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask, children become relaxed but remain awake. They are able to talk, and can respond to and understand the dentist. Nitrous oxide is often called "laughing gas" because it can cause giddiness.
Finding a good fit
When you choose a dentist, look for a pleasant, caring, and supportive practice. If you don't feel the dentist or staff is showing your child the proper respect and patience, don't hesitate to find another dentist.