Around the age of one or when the first teeth appear, make an appointment for your child to see the dentist. To prepare for the first visit:
- Try playing “dentist.” Count your child’s teeth, then switch roles and let him or her count yours. Make the exercise fun and explain that this is essentially what the dentist will do.
- Explain other things that may happen at the dentist’s office, using non-technical language. Don’t try to explain X-rays, for instance. Simply say, “The dentist might take some pictures of your teeth with a special camera”.
- Take your child along with an older brother, sister or friend when they go for a routine exam or cleaning. It’s a good way to familiarize your little one with the dentist’s office.
- Treat the appointment as routine.
- Be sure to advise your dentist about any special needs or medical problems, such as allergies or bleeding disorders.
- Let your child bring his or her favorite stuffed toy along.