Plan ahead before visiting your pediatric dentist

Pediatric dentists can help introduce children to proper oral hygiene care and habits at an early age.

Pediatric dentists can help introduce children to proper oral hygiene care and habits at an early age.

A trip to the dentist can be intimidating, even scary, for adults. But it can be even more frightening for young children, especially given the uncertainty that first visits can bring.

A pediatric dentist is the best bet for your child's first dental visit experiences, as this type of dentist has the  training and experience in working with kids. You'll want a dentist who is sensitive to your child's needs and can make the appointment as positive an experience as possible. Do your research and find a reliable, trustworthy and experienced dentist before scheduling your child's appointment.

By reading reviews on Angie's List, you can get a better feel for the dentists and what makes them highly rated or not. Then, you can make a more informed decision about choosing a dentist who's the right fit for you and, most importantly, your child.

It's essential to plan ahead for the appointment. Planning includes starting your child's preventive dental habits early. Make brushing a positive experience. Sing songs or recite catchy rhymes with your child. You can even use a timer to let your child know when he or she is done brushing. Remember to use dental terms, like "toothbrush" and "toothpaste," to get your child used to hearing the words. Don't forget to model your own good brushing habits. Show your child that you practice the same healthy dental habits that you are encouraging your child to develop.

Planning ahead also means scheduling an introductory visit and even bringing your child to an older sibling's regular dental checkup to get him or her accustomed to the environment. You can schedule an introductory visit even when your child's first tooth appears. The early introduction to the dentist will help your child feel more comfortable and lessen any anxiety.

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