How To Get Your Toddler Geared Up For Their First Dental Cleaning

Depending on what your personal pediatric dentist recommends, your toddler may have gone to see the dentist as soon as they sprouted teeth. Chances are, though, that they didn't have a dental cleaning or anything else because when they are that little, there really isn't much to do. As your child reaches their second birthday though, most pediatric dentists recommend that children start to get their teeth professionally cleaned because they should now have a mouth full of teeth. If your child is like most kids, they may be a bit nervous about sitting in the dentist's chair. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can gear them up for their first cleaning. 

Explain It to Them

As much as little kids love surprises (Santa and their birthday), surprising them with a visit to the dentist is the worst kind of surprise you can give them. A few days (or a week) before their first dental cleaning, explain to them what a dental cleaning is and that they are going to have to go to one. If they are having a hard time understanding, then head to your local library and pick up some books about it. 

Have Them Practice On a Stuffed Animal or Doll

Children love to pretend; especially when they are toddlers. As you are gearing your little one up for their dental cleaning, have them practice on either a stuffed animal or a doll. Give them a toothbrush and small, handheld mirror, and have them pretend that the animal is their patient. By being in the dentist's position, they may feel like they are in a lot more control over the situation, and they can see first-hand how fun it can actually be. 

Give Them an Incentive

A first dental cleaning is the perfect excuse to spoil your toddler with a small incentive like a treat, a movie, or a cheap toy from the store. When your child has something to look forward to, they are more likely to stay calm during the dental cleaning, or at least to not completely resent you after they have their teeth cleaned. 

It can be tricky to be a parent to a toddler, especially when you have to take them to get their first dental cleaning. Keep these things in mind when you are gearing up for your child's first dental cleaning. To learn more, reach out to a pediatric dental specialist or check out websites like