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happy baby dr dennis dunne

Creating a positive dental experience for your child is very important. After all, it’s an association that will last her lifetime. Help her understand that going to the dentist can be fun.

A lot of adults don’t like going to the dentist, mostly because of a bad experience they had as a child. It’s important not to let your child see this. Saying negative things like “I don’t like the dentist either, but we have to do this” may seem supportive, but will only scare them even more. Remember to keep things positive and to let your child decide for herself if she likes Dr. Dunne and his staff or not. If your kiddo is like the rest of our patients, she will be asking when she gets to come back!

When should your child visit the dentist for the first time?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you schedule your child’s first dental visit on her first birthday or within six months after her first tooth appears (whichever comes first). At this age, your little one may not fully understand what is going on, which is okay, but getting her prepared and ready to come see Dr. Dunne right away will make things easier, especially as she gets older.

How to prepare your child for the dentist:

  • Read children’s books about going to the dentist and answer any questions.
  • Play pretend. Pretend you’re the dentist and your child is the patient and you are going to count his or her teeth just like a dentist would.
  • Practice good oral hygiene by making sure your child brushes twice a day. Help your child learn to floss (children should start flossing, with assistance, around age two). While you are assisting with brushing and flossing, explain you want to keep her teeth clean and keep the “sugar bugs” away.
  • Reassure your little one that everyone has to go to the dentist to have their teeth polished and checked, even Grandma and Grandpa!
  • Tell your child he or she can bring a special friend along (like a stuffed animal) to help be brave.

Some things you should NOT do:

  • Never use the dentist visit as a threat for forgetting to brush or floss.
  • Avoid mentioning shots or needles when talking about the dentist.
  • Don’t refer to the dentist or the dental visit in a negative way.

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