Don’t be afraid of the dentist . Routinely visiting the dentist prevents tooth problems, allows children to feel good about visiting the dentist and encourages them to care for their own teeth.

You can help make your child’s first visit to the dentist enjoyable and productive by following this list of do’s and don’ts.

Do:

Have a positive attitude when telling your child about his/her dental visit. Parental anxiety plays a large role in the child’s anxiety.
Schedule the first visit early in the day. This way your child will be well rested and the appointment will not conflict with meal or naptimes.
Ask for an appointment time that coincides with other young patients who can serve as role models.
Read books about visits to the dentists.
Make it the highlight of the day. Tell the child the night before about visiting the dentist.

Do Not:

Give your child instructions on how to behave (such as telling the child not to cry, sit still in the chair, or to be “good”) in the office.
Use words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear or tell “scary” stories about going to the dentist.