The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that kids should visit a pediatric dentist around their first birthday. But these initial visits can be stressful for parents.

As long as you as a parent stay positive about the event, dental phobias won’t spread to your children. Here are some ways to prepare for that first visit with your child.

What to Expect at the First Visit

Remember that the first visit will only be a check-up to see if your child’s teeth are growing properly. It’s likely that there won’t even be more than a simple look around your child’s mouth.

The dentist will monitor tooth and jaw development and also tell you how to help your child care for their teeth. The dentist may recommend certain teeth care routines, child-friendly toothpaste, or toothbrushes.

If there is any dental family history the dentist should know about, now is the time to talk about it. Remember that good oral care leads to the good health of the whole body.

The dentist’s office is usually equipped with a waiting corner full of toys and books designed to make the visit appealing to little ones.

Make the Experience a Simple, Enjoyable One

It’s best to leave any other siblings or family members at home. If you can prepare your child for the dentist without making it sound like a huge or stressful deal, he or she will enjoy it more.

Use positive language. Never impose your own fearful ideas or experiences you may have had in the past. There’s no need to talk about drills, needles, or injections with your child.

Dentist-Approved Books for Kids

The following books are helpful in preparing your child for this experience. It helps them to see the dentist as a necessary friend to help keep them healthy.

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist  – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi.
Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.

Always remember that your child reflects the attitudes you have about many things in life. If you provide helpful explanations and use positive language, your kid will have a good experience. He or she may even look forward to the regular visits!

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