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How To Prepare Your Child For A First Dental Appointment

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If you are getting ready to take your child to his or her first dental appointment, you might be dealing with a mix of emotions. Although knowing that your child has grown up and is ready for professional dental care can be exciting, you might also be nervous about how your son or daughter will react. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare your son or daughter for a first dental appointment.

1. Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Consider choosing a pediatric dentist for your child. The offices are usually brighter and more interesting for kids, and the dentists are usually more experienced in helping small children with their fears. Plus, along with being more patient, pediatric dentists are also usually more knowledgeable about children's dental care.

2. Read Books About Dental Care

Look through your child's favorite books, and look for scenes that depict characters brushing their teeth, going to the dentist and otherwise practicing dental care. Read these books to your little one, and point out what each character is doing. This will help get your child excited about taking care of his or her mouth and will make the idea a little less intimidating and scary.

3. Role-Play a Typical Dental Appointment

One fun activity is to role-play a typical dental appointment with your child. Not only will this help prepare your child for what to expect in a dental office, but it's also a great way for the two of you to have a good time.

4. Take a Trial-Run Trip

New places can be scary for little ones. If you have the time, consider driving by the dental office with your child before the appointment. You can even take your child in and show him or her around. Then, the office won't be as frightening on appointment day.

5. Bring Along a Distraction

It's a good idea to bring along a favorite toy, book or gaming device to keep your little one distracted in the waiting room. Then, your child won't be as agitated when he or she goes to the back to see the dental hygienist and dentist. 

Some adults are terrified of going to the dentist, so it certainly isn't uncommon for a child to be afraid of his or her first appointment. Luckily, following these steps can help make the appointment easier for both you and your child.