How to Take Children to the Dentist: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Hold still and there's a sticker in it for you!

A trip to the dentist can lead to whimpering, whining and full-fledged tantrums -- and that's just you. Hopefully, your little one hasn't yet learned to fear the dentist like many adults do, and it's up to you to make sure she never does. Your pediatric dentist may recommend that your child have a check-up every six months, and your behavior in the days leading up to each visit can teach your kiddo that the dentist is one of the good guys.


  1. 1
    Make the appointment with your child's daily schedule in mind. Taking her to the dentist during the hour before or after nap might turn out to be miserable for all involved. Think about what time of day she tends to be happiest and most easygoing and schedule accordingly.
  2. 2
    Talk to your munchkin about the impending dentist trip starting the day before the appointment. Hide any of your own negative feelings about the dentist and put on a happy face as you prepare her for the trip. Try to get excited when you explain that she gets to go see a special doctor to take care of her teeth, and he's going to keep her teeth strong so she can eat apples, cereal and (occasionally) cookies and candy.
  3. 3
    Read some storybooks about what happens at the dentist at bedtime and again before you leave for the appointment. Pick up some age-appropriate books from the local library; Dora the Explorer's "Show Me Your Smile!" by Christine Ricci are suitable for older toddlers and preschoolers alike.
  4. 4
    Address your little one's fears if she seems withdrawn or anxious. Explain in broad terms what the dentist is going to do by saying something like, "He's going to use special tools to look at all of your teeth and make sure they're healthy. He might take pictures of your teeth or use some special toothpaste to clean them. I'm going to sit right next to you the whole time."
  5. 5
    Pack some favorite toys to keep your child distracted in the waiting room and during lulls in the exam. Bring a stuffed animal she can clutch for comfort and a book you can read to her while she waits for her turn with the dentist. The toys in the dental waiting room might not be as germy as those at the pediatrician's, but considering how many kids pass through there each day, it's best she play with her own toys if possible.
  6. 6
    Keep your kiddo calm during the appointment by rubbing her arm or leg and squeezing her hands. If she's starts to get anxious, try singing silly songs to her. Sure, the hygienist might judge you for your less-than-stellar singing voice, but if it keeps your little one from biting her, who is she to complain?
  7. 7
    Question the dentist about any and all concerns you may have. Ask whether your child's using the right amount and type of toothpaste, whether you should be flossing her teeth, whether he thinks she'll need orthodontic work and whether she should wear a mouth guard when she starts youth soccer. The better able you are to take care of her dental needs, the less frequently you'll find yourself back in that office.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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