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Your child’s first trip to the dentist does not have to be traumatic for her, you, or the dentist. There are some things that you can do to make sure that the first visit is a pleasant one.

First, start early. Ideally, the first dental visit should be after your child has her first tooth, and before her first birthday. You should not wait until your child has a cavity or another problem before making an appointment. If you can, bring your child in for a visit before her appointment. Let her meet the dentist, his staff and see the office and the exam room.

Don’t talk about the dentist in negative terms or use a trip to the dentist’s office as a punishment or a deterrent. Instead, talk about how the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and give her a bright smile. Letting your child bring a small favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket with her, and you can talk to the dentist about staying in the room while your child is in the chair.

A trip to the library can give you the chance to pick up books and videos about visiting the dentist, and you can try praise and encouragement if the visit goes well, and if your child has a good checkup.

At Pediatric Dentistry South, Dr. Richard Ruffalo and his staff are dedicated to keeping your child’s teeth healthy, and helping her to have a great visit. If you live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, you can make an appointment by calling 412-257-1150. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!