How to Prepare Your Child for a Visit to a Pediatric Dentistry

How to Prepare Your Child for a Visit to a Pediatric Dentistry from Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry in Middletown, NYPediatric dentistry is the practice of providing preventive and therapeutic oral care to children under the age of 18. It is recommended that children begin seeing the dentist early, no later than the first birthday. Preparing your child for their appointment ahead of time helps to make it easier for everyone involved.

4 ways to prepare your child for a pediatric dentistry visit

A trip to a dentist is a new experience for a child, and therefore, it can be intimidating. Here are some ways that you can help your child see a trip to the dentist as a positive experience rather than a scary one.

1. Pay attention to your own attitude

When faced with a new or unusual situation, children look to their parents for cues about how to react. If you present your child's trip to the dentist as something positive, they are likely to view it as such. On the other hand, if you talk about it with anxiety, your child will likely pick up on this and react with fear and dread.

If you cannot put aside your own anxieties about dentists' offices, you may have to have someone else, such as the child's other parent or a close relative, take your child to the first appointment.

2. Read books or watch videos about the dentist

Books and videos are wonderful ways to introduce your child to new concepts and experiences in the safe setting of home. There are many kid-friendly materials available to introduce children to the concept of pediatric dentistry. Some materials feature your child's favorite characters. Having your positive message reinforced by authoritative sources and characters your children trust can help them resolve any lingering doubts or fears they may have. Contact your local library or bookstore for help locating appropriate materials.

3. Act out what happens during a pediatric dentistry visit

Another way to prepare your child for their appointment is by role-playing. You can pretend to be the dentist and act out the things the professional will do during the appointment, e.g., checking the teeth, brushing, flossing, fluoride treatments, and X-rays. Be sure to emphasize that the dentist will be very gentle. Ask your child if what you are doing hurts, and when they say no, emphasize that it will not hurt when the dentist performs the real exam either.

If your child resists playing the part of the patient, you can perform the pretend exam on their favorite stuffed animal while your child watches. Then you can ask your child if they want to play the dentist. This allows you to see how they apply what they have learned.

4. Review what your child has learned on the morning of the appointment

While you are preparing your child for the dentist, do not tell them the exact day of their appointment. On that morning, tell your child that they are going to the dentist and review all the things you did to prepare, emphasizing again that the exam will not hurt and that the dentist will be gentle.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentistry in Middletown, NY


A successful first visit can reinforce pediatric dentistry as a positive experience in your child's mind, helping to make future appointments easier.

Request an appointment or call Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry at 845-363-4177 for an appointment in our Middletown office.

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