Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - Feb. 2014

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Going to the Dentist, or Dora The Explorer's Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist. Hershkowitz encourages talking up the yummy toothpaste flavors available in the dentist's office, such as birthday cake, watermelon, and chocolate. In addition, Waldman suggests buying a small hand mirror to count your kids' teeth with them before their appointment and get them excited for their visit. HVP Chatroom How do you make sure your kids are taking care of their teeth? First visit If you're unsure when to make your child's first dentist appointment, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends doing it by age one. This will allow a dentist to ensure teeth and oral tissue are developing properly, help you as a parent stay informed about best oral hygiene practices, and start preventing cavities and other dental problems right away. "There are a lot of things we can do early to prevent issues later on," says Hershkowitz. "The earlier, the better." Once your child gets used to the dentist, the office can be a great place to visit. Waldman comforts and rewards her patients with sunglasses, blankets, and other prizes. Hershkowitz keeps a treasure chest of goodies stationed in his Alexander Arvanetes of Poughkeepsie had his first dental appointment at Arlington Dental Associates in Fishkill. pirate-themed office, designed with approval from his 6-year-old son. When his patients get in the chair, they can choose their favorite show to watch on Netflix during their exam. He likes to have his patients control as much of their experience as possible. "Going to the dentist should be fun," he says. Elora Tocci is a freelance writer born and raised in Newburgh. She currently works as a communications assistant at Teach For America in New York City. "Have them choose their own really cool toothbrushes (they come with songs, stickers, etc., now) and choose their own toothpaste. That has been very motivating for my kids. Worth every penny." — Melissa Billings, Hopewell "We introduced the toothbrush around 1-1.5 years with my oldest son and he doesn't give us any trouble at 3 years old. I think the earlier you introduce it, and of course display Mommy and Daddy doing it, the more it becomes a basic skill." — Jennifer Manzi, Pleasant Valley "When my kids were little and gave me a hard time, I would give them my toothbrush and let them brush my teeth while I brushed theirs. Worked for all three of mine." — Lisa Betanzos, Plattekill "My twins occasionally don't want to brush their teeth. So, we either have to all brush our teeth once, or Mommy has to help brush the 'up teeth' then the 'down teeth' and then the 'smile teeth' and, of course, the tongue." — Roxanne Ferber, Saugerties "We brush together at night. I use an electric toothbrush, so my son needs to keep up and brush the same amount of time as me." — Isabel Dichiara, Lagrangeville Haileyanna Hunter, 2, of Marlboro, gets a checkup at All Access Dental in Poughkeepsie. n Hudson Valley Parent 31

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