Great oral hygiene for a lifetime
Your child’s first visit to the dentist is like a rite of passage. It’s the start of a lifetime of great oral hygiene. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends your child see a dentist when his first tooth appears or no later than his first birthday. Get your little one ready with these 5 tips:
- Read “first dentist visit” books. Introduce your child to the dentist with library books. Some of their favorite characters will teach them about their first visit. Check out these titles:
“The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist”
“Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist” featuring Dora the Explorer
“Just Going to the Dentist” from the Little Critter series
“What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist” featuring Angus the Answer Dog
“Clifford’s Loose Tooth”
Ask your librarian for additional titles.
- Watch a “first visit” video. You’ll find plenty of options on YouTube featuring some of your child’s favorite animated characters.
- Choose your words wisely. Avoid telling your child to not be scared or that it won’t hurt. They probably haven’t thought about being scared or hurt. Instead, share positive messages. Say things like, “The dentist is going to brush and count your teeth” and “The dentist wants to help you have a beautiful smile.”
- Pretend play. Children love to make believe, so why not play a “first visit” game? Tell your child to open wide, then count his teeth. Let your child play dentist, too, and count your teeth!
- Bring your child’s favorite toy. Even though our offices are filled with kid-friendly distractions, your child might feel more comfortable with a beloved doll or stuffed animal.
Make sure you schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with children. And they know exactly how to handle your child’s first visit to the dentist.