Your Child’s Dentist Visit: A Helpful Preparation Guide

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Baby teeth are just as important as adult, or primary teeth. For this reason, taking your child to visit the dentist is an important part of giving them a strong foundation as far as their oral health is concerned. The ADA recommends your child’s first dentist visit to be by their first birthday. While many children at this age aren’t bothered by early exams, as children get into their toddler years, visiting the dentist may be a little more challenging. To make sure your child has a productive dental exam, use the tips that follow: 

  • Conversation: Talk with your child about their upcoming visit. An easy way to introduce the exam is by reading books about visiting the dentist. As you read these, discuss the topic with your child. 
  • Listen: Through your conversations, listen to any fears your child may have. Encourage him or her to share them and do your best to ease their worries. 
  • Pretend: Play “dentist” with your child. Use props that mimic the ones the dentist will use. Show your child how he or she will have their teeth cleaned with a toothbrush. Also, use a flashlight and cups for helping with the “exam”. After that, encourage your child to give their stuffed animals a checkup. 
  • Role Model: Make sure your children witness you taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing on a regular basis. And, if you aren’t a big fan of dental exams, don’t share this information with your children. A recent study showed that a child’s dental anxiety is typically passed down from their parent. 
  • Timing: When you schedule your child’s exam, plan it for a time where he or she is in good spirits.

In conclusion, there are several steps you can take to prepare your child for their appointment with the dentist. By doing what you can to get him or her ready, they will be more cooperative and have a positive view of dental appointments.