- April 15, 2012
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If your kids are about two, and haven’t already made the trip it’s time for them to go visit a dentist. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the dentist (like most people!) so I tend to drag my feet even taking my own kids. However, being the parent, I need to bite the bullet and get them in.
It’s important to get x-rays taken and see how things are growing in there. Of course it’s also important to check for brushing habits and cavities. I highly suggest finding a specialized pediatric dentist for your smaller kids (see our Playdate Pediatric Dentistry Q & A). For one thing, they have smaller chairs, and “kid-friendly” rooms that are more entertaining for little ones than your traditional white room that we lucky adults get. Our dentist has an arcade in their waiting room. It seemed like it was a touch over the top at first, but the result was that my kids want to go back. I suppose getting their teeth cleaned was worth all the toys and games while they waited.
I highly suggest finding a specialized pediatric dentist for your smaller kids.
When you start thinking about planning your child’s first dentist trip be sure to schedule your own dentist trip a few days before and bring your newbie with you. This way, your kids see you setting the right example (hopefully you’re not kicking and screaming), and see that you aren’t hurt by getting your teeth cleaned. I also suggest explaining what the dentist is doing in friendly terms. Sure “Polishing” doesn’t sound dreadful to you, but to a young child it might sound sinister in it’s strangeness. Around here we just say that the dentist likes to count our teeth and brush them. Just like we do at home, only the dentist gets excited to count them and brush them! It’s a special treat to let a dentist count your teeth. At least that is what my kids think.
While you are at the dentist, if your child is okay with it, stay away from the chair or even sit in a far corner of the room. Let them do their work, they have experience with kids. Even scared difficult kids. The best part of a pediatric dentist? The prize at the end! Ours gives out small toys to kids who were good or brave. It turns out that all of them are, which is a perfect incentive!