Getting ready to take your little one to the dentist? The American Dental Association
recommends that children have their first checkup around the time that their first tooth comes
in. This not only helps get them used to the dentist early, but also ensures that they’re not
experiencing childhood tooth decay.
Is your child ready for their appointment? Here’s how you can prepare your child for that first dentist appointment.
Begin with Playtime
Books, stuffed animals, and a few toys can help you prepare your child for their visit to the
dentist. Yes, it’s true! You can practice looking into each other’s mouths with a flashlight. Read
children’s books about going to the dentist so they’re more familiar with the different types of
tools that will be used as well as the exam and cleaning procedure.
You can even have them treat their stuffed animals as patients to examine their teeth and talk
about brushing and flossing. Playing dentist as well as talking to your child about what will
happen during their appointment can help them become more familiar with the experience.
Visit Before Your Appointment
Finding the right dentist to take your child to is important. Pediatric dentists will help your child
feel more comfortable, be more experienced at treating children, and help you relax too! It’s a
good idea to visit the dentist office that you’ve chosen to be your child’s dentist. You can take
your child with you so that they can meet the staff and see the office.
This will give your child a chance to become familiar with the office and the staff before they
actually go in for their checkup. When you do actually go in for your appointment, allow your
child to bring along a favorite book or toy if they’re nervous. The waiting room should have
plenty of toys too!
Be a Positive Role Model
Being a positive role model for your child when it comes to visiting the dentist might just be
your greatest asset to making this visit go well. Letting your child see you brushing and flossing
at home can help them establish their own routine similar to yours. When you go to visit your
dentist, let your child know or take him or her with you if you can.
And finally, being calm at the dentist office can help your child to relax too. Your child can tell
when you are anxious or upset. By being reassuring and remaining calm yourself, you can set
your child up for positive feelings about the dentist right from the start.
Your child’s relationship with the dentist will be an important one that protects his or her smile!
You can help prepare your child for the dentist by incorporating play, visiting the office, and
being the best role model possible for your child. When it comes to dental checkups, preparing
your child will help the process go smoothly for everyone!