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Preparing for a First Dental Visit by Dr. Sherri Alpert

If children are fearful of visiting the dentist, it can be a very difficult task to get them to go willingly. Therefore, it is important that your child understand that you will be there every step of the way. Many children are frightened of the unknown so if you are able to explain what will happen during their dental visit without using emotionally charged language like hurt or pain, the visit will go a lot more smoothly. Make sure that your child knows that you will be his or her advocate and ask the dentist to stop and explain what is going on at any point if it seems like your child is becoming fearful. You can make up a secret word or signal between your child and yourself if your child needs you to step in.

It can be intimidating for a child to be in a situation where an unknown adult has power over them. It is critical for your child to know that you will stay with them both physically and emotionally. It is important that you tell your child the truth about discomfort or even pain that may be involved with certain procedures such as injections, fillings and extractions. You can't prevent all discomfort in your child's life. You can, however, be there for your child to support them no matter what.

Make sure that you select a dental professional who is on the same page that you are when it comes to taking care of your child. If you want to stay with your child for the entire visit, speak up. You are the parent and your wishes must be considered. Dentists may actually encourage parents to stay in the room with their children to hold their hands or even have all treatment done on their parents lap. It is important to always keep the lines of communication open to ensure a successful dental experience for your child.

Dr. Sherri Alpert has offices at Dental Wellness of Suffern at 2 Executive Blvd., Suite 307 in Suffern and Monroe Dental Office at 400 Rt. 17M in Monroe. She has written two books that are available from Amazon. com that help prepare children for the inevitable questions of what will happen during a dental visit. Cassandra Gets Her Smile Back for ages5 and under and Attack of the Sugar Bugs, for older kids. Both books take kids through a dental visit with pictures and easy to understand language. They offer a free copy of either book with a first visit to their office. For additional questions, schedule an appointment at 918-1801 (Suffern) or 782-0189 (Monroe). Visit DentalWellnessOfSuffern. com or for more information.

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