Quickly and Easily Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Note: to all of our newer followers… The watermarks on these photos (that I haven’t gotten around to updating yet) say ‘Our Life in Progress…” because that was our family’s blog at one time. These photos are mine and if you’d like to link or use them, please reference RufflesAndRainBoots.com. Thanks!
Moms are already busy enough, so I am not signing up for repeat visits for anything! Unless it’s the spa – an exception could be made there.
When Elise was ready for her first dentist appointment, I did some checking and found out that a lot of young children are often very intimidated by the dentist. Even the great pediatric dentists can be somewhat scary and make it hard for a toddler to get comfortable. The answer? Preparation!
It is a simple concept: prepare your toddler for their first dental exam. Ok, but how? We were already brushing her teeth, reading books about dental visits and tooth care, and we even made up a song. What else, short of going for a “meet-and-greet” could I do?
I made this mock mouth in about 15 minutes out of scrap card stock and some mini marshmallows – it was a hit! Elise and I played dentist after breakfast for a couple days before her appointment, and she was calm and even had fun during the visit!
How we used this:
As mentioned above, we played dentist: Mommy was the dentist first, asking Elise to watch as I flossed and brushed the marshmallow teeth and tongue. Then it was Elise’s turn to play with the mouth, brushing each and every tooth with an adorable amount of concentration. We would also drill and buffer it – yep, we made funny sounds and just moved the toothbrush around. So many giggles were had!
I would put her in a dining chair, tip her back (resting the back chair on my lap) and I would say things like: “Hi, I’m Dentist Mommy. May I put my hands near your mouth? May I put this toothbrush (or kid flosser) in your mouth?” I also used the dentist’s name and we would shake hands and introduce ourselves. She got such a kick out of it.
If you’d like to make one of these, below is a brief tutorial to help. Happy crafting!
– Full or scrap pieces of card stock in pink and red
– 20 mini marshmallows
– glue, scissors, and a ruler
Step 1: Cut your paper pieces.
I used an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of pink card stock because that was what I had:) See the note at the end of the post if you’d like to leave no spaces between the “teeth.” Below are the pieces I cut with their measurements.
- I put the front of the mouth at the 3.5″ (three and one half inch) mark on the ruler and then folded the card stock over the ruler’s edge.
- I then scooted the fold I had just made to the 3/4″ (three quarters of an inch) mark on the ruler and then folded the card stock over the edge again. Ta da!
- Put an edge of the card stock handle at the 1/2″ (one half on an inch) mark and fold it over the edge of the ruler.
- Scoot the fold to the 1/4″ (one quarter of an inch) and fold the card stock over the edge of the ruler.
- Repeat on the other side.
- I glued down the marshmallow teeth at the back first, making sure the mouth would close easily with both top and bottom teeth secured.
- Next, I affixed the front two teeth on both the top and bottom.
- Then, I just filled in the rest of the teeth evenly… Ok, so they are mostly even. :)
- Glue down the tongue.
- I eyeballed it for the handles, asking Elise to hold the mouth while I made sure her little fingers would reach under the handles. When I slip my fingers through the top handle and my thumb through the bottom handle, it works for me just fine.
Have a great day and I hope your child’s first dental is full of smiles!