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First Experiences: Going to the Dentist

Date: 1987
Author: Fred Rogers
Photographs: Jim Judkis
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Series: First Experiences
ISBN: 0399213856
Purchase: Amazon (Paperback)


Text and photographs copyright © 1987 by Family Communications, Inc.


Going to the Dentist is a publication from the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood First Experiences series (originally published in 1987). In this book, real life photos are used to help young people feel more comfortable with visiting the dentist.

A Note From Fred Rogers

Mouths are one of our most important body parts when it comes to our development as human beings. Anything that affects our mouths will have a great effect on it's not surprising that going to the dentist for the first time can be a most important step in a child's life.

What may be hardest for children at the dentist is to have to open their mouths and let in the dentist's hands or strange instruments. The less children have mastered their urge to bite, the harder it may be for them to allow such intrusions.

As children struggle to cope with dental procedures, the biggest help will be a trusting relationship with the dentist and the dentist's helpers. Your choosing a dentist who cares about children and their special needs is the best way to begin: If you, as a parent, feel good about a dentist, the chances are your child will more than likely sense your confidence and have positive feelings, too.

It's also a help to time your child's first visit to the dentist well before any problems arise -- perhaps even before your child's first birthday. You can consult your own dentist or your child's pediatrician about that. Early visits give your child an opportunity to get to know the dentist, the assistants, the office and equipment. These can be times without anxiety to begin forming a trusting relationship.

Of course, the foundation for your child's relationship with the dentist lies in open and honest communication between your child and you. That's, in part, why we've made these First Experience books -- to help parents and children find their own ways to talk about what's important to them. We trust that you wil find this book a helpful springboard for your beginning conversations with your child about going to the dentist.

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Content copyright © The Fred Rogers Company. Used with permission.
Corner image by Spencer Fruhling. Used with permission.
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