First Visit to the Dentist Soon? Check Out These Tips to Make it a Success!

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday. Most parents don’t make it in quite that time frame, partially because they worry that their little one will be scared. If you’re heading to the dentist soon, consider the tips below to help you make your child’s first visit to the dentist a success!

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  1. Adjust your expectations

Many parents worry about taking their child to the dentist because they don’t know how their child will sit through a cleaning. The good news is that most first visits to the dentist only include what your child is comfortable with. Often, dentists are more focused on making sure your child has a good experience than giving a deep cleaning to their teeth.

  1. Talk it up

When you talk about the dentist, talk about how nice it feels to take care of your body and how proud you are to have clean teeth. Share how friendly the dentist is! Let your little one know how excited you are that your kiddo will get a chance to go soon, too! 

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  1. Brush at home

Taking care of your tot’s teeth at home can help them feel comfortable with the concept of brushing their teeth and going to the dentist. As you brush their teeth, talk about how important it is to take care of their body. Talk about how taking care of their teeth now will help to keep them strong and healthy.

  1. Go for a pre-visit tour

If you have a little one that takes a few minutes to get comfortable when they go new places, consider heading to the dentist the week before their visit for a tour. Take a peek at the waiting room, the exam room, and anywhere else they’ll spend their time. Ask to meet the hygienist and dentist they’ll be seeing. Being able to visualize where they’ll be going will help your little one mentally prepare for their visit. 

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  1. Stay positive

If your child expresses any concern about their visit, validate their feelings and then work hard to stay positive. Reiterate how important the dentist is. Assure your child you’ll be with them the whole time!

Are you taking your little ones to the dentist soon? How are you preparing them?

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First Visit to the Dentist Soon? Check Out These Tips to Make it a Success!

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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