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Kid-Friendly Dental Visits

November 13, 1996|SHARI ROAN

Young children who are unprepared are often terrified during their first dental visit. Parents, however, can do a lot to make that first visit go well. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

* Start now. The earlier the first visit, the better.

* Consider a get-acquainted visit. At this time, the child meets with the dentist and sees the office. A good occasion might be during an older sibling's regular exam.

* Consider using a pediatric dentist.

* Choose an appointment time when the child is alert and rested.

* Tell your child that the dentist is a new friend whose job is to help keep teeth healthy.

* Don't let your child know of your own dental phobias or hear scary stories from older siblings or peers. Avoid any scary words when describing the dentist, including "hurt."

* Read your child a story about a character who has had a good trip to the dentist.

* Give your child some control over the visit. For example, ask if he or she wants to take a favorite stuffed animal.

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