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A guide to dental visits and children
Updated: 5/22/2008 10:00:35 AM

Getting children to go to the dentist can be a difficult task, despite the promises of stickers and sugar-free lollipops.

However, help is at hand from the Chicago Dental Society, which recently polled over 300 dentists and collated their hints and tips for parents, State Point Media reported.

The first thing on the list is for parents to start taking their little ones to the dentist from an early age, with six months - or around the time when the child's first tooth appears - suggested as a good time.

Experts say this will help a child "develop positive associations with the experience".

In addition, parents should try and play down the importance of a visit to the dentist and not build up fears before going.

They may also find it useful to distract their kids with toys, cartoons or coloring books while in the waiting room to keep them calm.

Finally, the dentists polled emphasized that it is important for parents themselves to relax, so that their children do not pick up on their anxiety.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should also try to make tooth-brushing a "fun" experience, by modeling good teeth-brushing behaviors themselves and giving their offspring positive encouragement.

© 2008 Brafton Inc.


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