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Five Tips for Your Kid's First Trip to the Dentist

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Five Tips for Your Kid's First Trip to the Dentist

Emily's Fourth Trip to the Dentist
Aidan's First Trip to the Dentist

Today's was Aidan's first trip to see Dr. Laura for his very first check up.  I'm not so sure these are my smiling children.  If you know me, you know that I still have a big fear of the dentist and would rather give birth than have my teeth cleaned.  Cavity after cavity, cleaning after cleaning, bloody gums and Novacaine, I just never liked the dentist as a kid.  I am now taking my very own kids to my childhood dentist in Norwood, but the new Dr. Sullivan is the lovely daughter of my Dr. Sullivan  (the one I kicked in the face when I was 7.)  Dr. Laura took over her dad's practice in his retirement and I've been doing my very best to make sure my kids don't develop that same fear of the dentist I had as a kid.  Here's what has worked for us:
  1. Make it fun.   Read Dr. Seuss's The Tooth Book.  Read all the dentist/teeth books and watch all the dentist show episodes of Caillou/Berenstain Bears you can handle before you go!
  2. Go crazy discussing the fancy chair that moves up and down and the special sink, lights and instruments!
  3. Take them as soon as you can!  As soon as your child turns two and a half (or 3 if you're late with kid #2 like us), it's time to make your first trip to the dentist!
  4. Choose a friendly dentist who welcomes children and has a knack for making them feel special ~ fancy kid prizes, special tooth brushes, lots of books, etc.  
  5. Make it a family affair.  Have your own teeth cleaned the same day as your child's first visit or let siblings go together.  
Oh, and let me add that I rescheduled my own appointment today to let Aidan get in on the fun.  What a great mom, right?   Aidan did an amazing job with a fat lip and all!   No cavities for the Stows and Emily survived her first set of x-rays!  I've earned myself 4 more weeks before it's my turn to sit in the torture chair!  Four weeks of dental anxiety.  Guess I better start flossing! 



Anonymous Kristin said...

My dentist just does a "teeth count" on the first (2.5 or 3yrold) visit. I love that it is positive and quick and they take their time. My girls are now 5 and 8 and they actually love to go to the dentist. Your post is spot on - if you take the time and make it positive, you lay the groundwork for easy visits. Great post!

7:21 PM  
Blogger The Mom Pledge said...

Actually, we took my daughter for her first visit around 2 and a half. She did great. We found this wonderful pediatric dentist near us. They were brand new and had a huge Open House. We took her and she had a ball. A few weeks later she went for her first official visit. Did awesome. She loves going there. Hoping that continues, and that we are able to instill good habits...

8:58 PM  

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