If you have been bringing your baby in for regular checkups since that first tooth arrived, you might expect that he or she is already familiar with Drs. Joanne Oppenheim, Marilia Montero, and Mary J. Hayes and our staff. Often, though, months pass between visits, which is a very long time for a child. How can you make your preschooler’s return visit a happy one? We have some suggestions!
Before Your Visit
- Prepare your child for her visit. Simple explanations are best for a young child. You might tell your daughter that a dentist is a doctor who helps keep her teeth strong and healthy. Let her know a bit about what will happen. Being told, “You will sit in a special chair,” or, “Can you open wide so we can count your teeth?” will give her some idea of what it’s like to visit our office.
- There are many entertaining books for young children about visiting the dentist. Reading some of these to her for a few days before the appointment will let her know what to expect.
- Use playtime to prepare. You might count your daughter’s teeth or let her “play dentist” and brush the teeth of her favorite doll or stuffed animal.
When You Arrive
- Your attitude can be contagious! If you treat a visit to the dentist like any other outing, chances are your child will too. Your calm presence is exactly what your child needs.
- You might want to come a bit early to let your son explore the office. Bring a favorite toy or book to keep him entertained if you need to. A favorite stuffed toy can be a comfort in an unfamiliar place.
- If you are with your child during his checkup, follow our lead. Don’t be concerned if your child seems uncooperative at first or even throws a tantrum—we are used to working with children, and have techniques to make his experience as relaxed and as positive as we possibly can.
We Are Here to Help
We are your partners in your child’s dental care. Call our Chicago office anytime for suggestions about making your child’s visit a comfortable, comforting experience. Our goal is to start your child confidently on the road to a lifetime of empowering dental visits and lasting dental health.