Tips for Child’s First Dentist Visit

My daughter had a tooth injury when she was about two years old. She was on the playground on one of those rocking toys, my mother-in-law started rocking her and my daughter hit her tooth on the metal toy. She had tooth sensitivities that night that we noticed at dinner. The tooth over time began to turn a little greyish. I decided to take her to her first dentist visit when she was about four years old because I had concerns.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends your child see a dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday.

Get your little one ready with these 5 tips:

1. 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 - read for free if you're a Prime Member
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.

2. Watch a “first visit” video. You’ll find plenty of options on YouTube featuring some of your child’s favorite animated characters.

3. 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.”

4. 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!

5. 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. When I took my daughter to her first check up, they were very nice and worked with her. The hardest part for my daughter has always been the x-rays, but they have helped her deal with that by holding her close and talking very sweetly to her while she has it done.

Because of the tooth injury, my daughter's tooth did fall out early and now she has some hypocalcification because their was nerve damage to the tooth. She might have to have some sort of teeth whitening one day or even capping, but they don't like to do any of that while she is so young. Thankfully, she has only had one cavity in her back molar caused by enamel hypoplasia because when the tooth was forming she was most likely either sick or on some type of antibiotics or medicine. So the dentist told her that it wasn't her fault, in fact every time we go he tells us to "keep up the good work".

What you should do to have healthy teeth

Besides brushing techniques and making sure you are brushing two minutes twice a day, drink acidic foods through a straw, drink plenty of water, have a balanced diet, limit sugary/gummy snacks, and avoid starchy foods as well.

Have you taken you child to the dentist? What do you think of these tips?  

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