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Healthy Habits: 4 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dentist Visit

When your child starts showing that adorable gummy smile that means their baby teeth are giving way to adult teeth, it is officially time for your child’s first big-kid dentist appointment. Dentists typically recommend that kids visit a dentist sometime before their first birthday, with visits twice a year following the initial visit. However, their first full big-kid dentist appointment typically comes in early toddler years. Most baby teeth have typically come in by the time a child reaches his or her third birthday. Although baby teeth will eventually fall out, this is the perfect time to begin instilling good dental habits and a positive attitude toward teeth care at a very young age.

For toddlers, the first real dental visit with their full set of baby teeth can often feel overwhelming. Here are 4 simple ways to have a relaxed, fear-free first trip to the dentist.

Start at Home

The best thing you can do to prepare both your child and yourself for their first real dental visit as a toddler is to start at home. Young children will follow your lead when it comes to dental health. There are plenty of fun ways to make brushing time fun. From bubble gum-flavored toothpaste, to tooth brushes that play music to time brushing, there are many ways to get creative and help your child see oral care in a fun light.

Be Positive…Or Fake it Until You Make

Remember that your child has no negative feelings towards general dentistry – yet. They are looking to you to determine what kind of trip a dentist visit will be. Help your child to establish good feelings about going to the dentist by projecting excitement about the trip. If you aren’t a fan of the dentist, try to just put on a big smile and a cheery voice.

Provide Information to Your Little One

Children are naturally curious. Even if your child hasn’t asked you any questions about the dentist or what general dentistry entails, that doesn’t mean they don’t have dozens of questions running through their minds. Help prepare them by explaining in a very positive way that a dentist is a doctor that specializes in healthy teeth. Tell them how the dentist is their partner in having an incredible, healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

Come Prepared

The more prepared you can be for a trip to the dentist, the less time the dentist will need to spend searching for potential problem areas. If you child has issues such as toothaches, inflamed gums or issues like teeth grinding, try to come prepared with a list of information and ballpark dates that those issues have occurred.

Remember, your child is taking keys from your about what to expect from the dentist. Positivity and encouragement will go a long way to make their first trip as pleasant as possible.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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