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Going to the Doctor or Dentist

How do you make taking your toddler to the doctor or dentist easier?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I took my kids to the dentist for the first time. My son was very intrigued by the dentist.  I found that buying a book about going to the dentist was very helpful.  I also told my son that the dentist would give him a brand new toothbrush after the visit was over. My son loves gifts so the thought of a new toothbrush was more than enough to get him excited about dental hygiene!

Shilpa Amin-Shah, MD, a mom of a son and two daughters and an emergency medicine physician at Emergency Medical Associates, in St. Johns, FL.

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: When I was looking for a dentist, I asked my family and friends where they take their kids. We started to go when my boys were each 2½ years old.

In the end, I chose a pediatric dentist for my sons. Certainly, you don’t have to take kids to a pediatric dentist, but they know kids. They know how to cajole kids and get them through the visit. Our pediatric dentist is so patient and amazing. You don’t want to take your kids to an old-school dentist who’s going to strap them down and make it an awful experience!

Heather Orman-Lubell, MD, a mom of 11- and seven-year-old sons, and a pediatrician in private practice at Yardley Pediatrics of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: One of the many things I love about my daughter’s pediatricians is that they have separate waiting rooms for sick kids and for well kids. I really appreciate that my daughter isn’t sitting next to a child with the flu while she’s waiting for her well visit!

I’ve been very fortunate that we haven’t had long waits at the pediatrician’s office. The pediatrician doesn’t have any toys in the waiting room, but there is a nice fishtank in the waiting room that my daughter loves to look at. I bring books and toys along in case we have to wait.

Once we get into the exam room, my daughter likes to play with the paper on the exam table. I know that’s not what it’s there for, but it’s a great alternate use!

Rachel S. Rohde, MD, a mom of a one-year-old daughter, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and an orthopaedic upper extremity surgeon with Michigan Orthopaedic Institute, P.C., in Southfield, MI

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.