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Tips for Surviving a Trip to the Dentist

Prepare your Toddler!

Going to the dentist is something most of us dread. I know I loathe the dentist and actually can remember my first trip as a kid. I refused to open my mouth and when I finally did I chomped down on that poor man’s finger so hard he probably retired. I still remember him to this day; well, I could only see his red hair and eyes, as the rest of his face was covered by that scary mask.

Thankfully I eventually ended up at a pediatric dentist who I loved. As an adult I begged for him to continue seeing me!

Now it is my turn to bring my kids to get their teeth checked and today was my toddler’s first visit to the dentist. I wanted him to have thee best possible experience I could provide him with. I would hate for my kids to go through the fear that I always had associated with dental work after my first visit.

I really thought long and hard about all things parents can do to help prevent fear and make your toddler’s first visit with the dentist far more pleasant than mine was. Not only will it help your toddler, but it will also help you out in the long run!

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  • Use the Tooth Fairy 1 of 5
    Use the Tooth Fairy
    Present the Tooth Fairy as a friendly and cute character to make tooth care fun for kids...minus the whole creepy sneaking into your house and taking your old teeth part. Just don't tell them about that aspect yet! Make it fun and be creative!
  • Start at Home 2 of 5
    Start at Home
    Start with good oral health at home, and while you keep their teeth in tip top shape, talk to them about the dentist. Some of it may not make any sense at first, but they will understand when the time comes!
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Let Them Watch! 3 of 5
    Let Them Watch!
    Like in my haircut post the other day, one of the best ways to prepare your toddler for a trip to the dentist is to have them watch someone else go through a routine checkup. Nothing scary like drills or fillings - just a simple cleaning! You want them to know it will be quick and painless!
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Have them Sit in your Lap! 4 of 5
    Have them Sit in your Lap!
    Many dentists will have you sit in the chair and have your toddler sit up in your lap; this is a great idea. You are able to comfort them while they are being checked up on, and it gives them a great level of comfort in a new place!
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Comfort Item 5 of 5
    Comfort Item
    Let your toddler bring a lovie or some kind of comfort item with them. Even if it just sits in the chair with them, or they can see it in the distance, it will help them to be more comfortable with the whole experience!
    Photo Credit: iStockphoto

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Read more on Toddler Times from Danielle:

8 Outdoor Toys All Toddlers Need
7 Tips for Preventing Cavities in Toddlers
9 Best Learning Apps for Toddlers

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