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Make Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist a Success

Starting your child off with good dental care can help protect their teeth for years to come.  Children learn by example and begin forming opinions of their health providers at an early age.  Their first dental visit is an important milestone, one which the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends scheduling no later than the child’s first birthday.  Encouraging good dental habits at home and scheduling regular dental appointments will help children gain trust and a comfort level with their dentist and promote the care of their teeth during their lifetime.  

Learn about how you can make your child’s first visit to the dentist a success:

Practice at Home
Your child watches you and older siblings care for their teeth and now it’s their turn.  Let your child pick out a fun, properly-sized toothbrush and make sure to help them brush morning and night before bed.

Research the Dentist
Before you schedule a visit, make sure you research your dentist options (remember to consult any dental insurance you may have).  Check out the website, look for photos of the office, read reviews.  Make sure you feel comfortable and believe your child will too.  

Prepare for the Visit
Spend some time talking about what your child will encounter at the dentist. Parents should avoid words such a “pain” or “hurt” when speaking about the dentist. Show by example how they may brush their teeth and floss. There are also great books about visiting the dentist that can help ease their minds. Check out: Just Going to The Dentist by Mercer Mayer, Curious George Visits the Dentist by Margret & H.A. Rey and The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by  Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain.

Time it Right
Schedule the appointment during a time when your child will be happiest and most willing to partake in a new adventure.  If you are able to arrange childcare for other children and focus on the one heading into the dentist for the first time, it will be all the better.      

Make it Fun!  
Setting the stage for your child’s first dentist visit is important in successful future visits.  Make sure your attitude and behavior is positive (even if you are an anxious dental patient) and your child sees your excitement as they enter the dental practice.  If you maintain a positive outlook your child will more than likely enjoy their experience. After the visit, do something fun!  Take them to the park, a special ice cream treat or an out-of-the-ordinary activity.  Following up the appointment with a special treat will help encourage positive behavior and hopefully have them looking forward to the next visit!    
At My Plantation Denist, Dr. Finkelstein and team would be a perfect place for your child’s first dental visit.  Call us today to schedule an appointment, 954.584.1030.  

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