Preparing Your Child For Their First Dentist Visit

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time is a new experience for both you and him. Preparing him for this visit in advance will likely make the whole experience go more smoothly. The recommended age for visiting the dentist is when your child's teeth have all poked through. This is roughly around one year of age, according to WebMD. It is important to make visiting the dentist a positive one, as this will be the beginning of many more years of dental care in the future.

Below are some tips for making your child's first dentist visit a great one:

Observing someone else:  If you are able to take your child to any dental visits with you for your own teeth or of a family member, it would be optimal. By having your child see that you are getting your teeth cared for by the dentist and that everything is fine, he will reassured. Discuss with your child what he thought about the visit on the ride home, as it will be fresh in his memory. Ask you child if he had any questions about going to the dentist. If he seems comfortable with the conversation, this is a good time to let him know that he will be going to the dentist soon. Reassure him that you will be with him the entire time.

Deciding which dentist:  An important decision for the parent to make is to decide which dentist they want their child to go to. Do you want him to go to the family dentist that you use or do you feel that a pediatric dentist would be more appropriate for him? A pediatric dental office is especially geared toward children. When you first walk, in you will likely see small tables and chairs, books and toys. The examining room of a pediatric dentist will have dental exam chairs on a smaller scale as that of an adult's dental exam chair. The room will be decorated in a child-like theme. The flavors of toothpaste will be broad, such as cherry, strawberry and almost always bubble gum. When the visit is over, the dentist will let your child pick out a toothbrush and possibly a sticker.

Plan the visit according to your child's schedule:  Planning your child's first dentist visit at his best time of day is extremely important. You need to be sure he is rested and in the best frame of mind. Start to get ready to go for the visit well in advance of the appointment time. Don't rush to get there. He needs to have the experience be a calming and relaxed one. When you get to the office be positive, reassuring and upbeat throughout.

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