Find out the best way to prepare your children for their first visit to the dentist
Children should see a dentist shortly after their first teeth erupt. This visit is more for the parents, to help them understand exactly what they can do to prevent cavities
and to help get them started on proper oral care.
What should you expect?
It’s really just intended to put the child at ease, introduce him or her to the world of dentistry, and make sure they don’t need any emergency attention, which is rare.
A typical first session will include a quick look in the child’s mouth with a hand-held mirror and counting their teeth out loud. You just want to get them comfortable with the dentist, and you, as a parent, want to be comfortable as well – with the dentist, the office and the environment.
A few ways to prepare
Talk to your kids
– Get some books about visiting the dentist and use story time
to kick-start a conversation. A fun way to get kids comfortable is to play “dentist,” using props like tooth- brushes, flashlights and cups for rinsing, and invite all their stuffed animals for a checkup, where your child can practice being the patient, the dentist and the parent.
Be a good role model – Make sure the kids see you brushing and flossing as a natural part of the daily routine. And if you’ve got a bit of dentist phobia, try your best to shield the kids from it: According to a recent study, most fear of the dentist is passed down from parents to children.