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Preparing Your Child For Their First Trip To The Dentist

If you are the parent of a toddler who has not been to  a dentist yet, you will want to prepare them for their first teeth cleaning visit so it goes by without anxiety or fear. Here are a few tips you can use to prepare your child for their first dentists exam.

Have Them Watch

The best way to prepare your child for their first teeth cleaning appointment is to have them watch you as you get one done yourself. Have your child sit in a seat in the room with you so they can observe everything that happens from beginning to end. Have the hygienist talk to your child as they check over your teeth, telling them what they are doing and discussing what the instruments do as they are cleaning.

Make sure you do not wince or act as if the procedure is uncomfortable so your child will be more apt to be willing to have their own teeth checked. If there are problems with your teeth, have the dentist hold off on repairing them until a different day to keep your child from becoming fearful the same will happen to them at their appointment. Being in the room and meeting the dentist beforehand will make things easier on the day of their own appointment as they will already be familiar with the people, the setting, and the procedure.

Discuss Healthy Practices

Do a few crafts at home to help teach your child the importance in cleaning the teeth properly. Glue several mini marshmallows to a piece of cardboard in a row to represent teeth. Place chocolate chips between the marshmallows to represent food particles. Have your child use a piece of yarn to string between the "teeth", removing the "food" as they "floss". Explain how flossing can help keep your gums healthy and that the dentist will be checking to see that they are doing it properly.

Point out pictures of people with white teeth in magazines and picture books and tell your child that they can have bright teeth themselves if they brush their teeth every day. Have your child brush while a song plays on your cell phone and tell them they need to continue brushing until the song ends so they get all bacteria removed.

Make The Idea Exciting

Place a sticker on the day on a calendar when your child is going to the dentist for their appointment. Have them place an "X" through each day as it passes so they know how many days are left before they will be visiting. Have friends and family members discuss the dentist with your child so they will start becoming excited about the day.

Tell your child when they have finished with their appointment, you will bring them to the park, the library, or the zoo to celebrate. If your child becomes excited about the day, they will be more willing to sit in the chair and have the procedure done without incident.

For more tips, contact a professional like North Phoenix Pediatric Dentistry.