The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the dentist by the age of 12 months, or when the first tooth appears. Bringing your child in at this age allows the dental team to evaluate your child, introduce you to proper oral hygiene techniques, and start to build a foundation of trust with your child. You can make that visit enjoyable and positive by informing your child of the visit and giving them some idea what to expect. Be sure to remind your child that the pediatric dentist and their staff will be friendly, explain all procedures, and answer any questions. The less to-do about the visit, the better.
When you and your child arrive at our office, you’ll go to our waiting room area to fill out paperwork. Your child will then be introduced to our dental team and will be taken on a tour of the office. If you think you child would benefit from becoming familiar with the office before the visit you can take a tour of the office online or schedule a tour only visit. During your child’s dental visit you are welcome to stay with your child. However, we ask that you trust us and allow us to work with your child. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension. This allows us to build a trusting relationship with your child that will continue in the years to come. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
Once your child is back in a treatment room, he or she will receive a dental cleaning, fluoride and dental radiographs (x-rays) that will be taken when it is age appropriate and when the doctors feel it is necessary. The Dentist will explain to the child that they will look inside their mouth with a tiny mirror, and then clean their teeth with flavored toothpaste as well as apply tooth vitamins (fluoride) to make their teeth strong! The doctor will also perform a head and neck examination and then evaluate the health and development of your child’s teeth and gums. Please do not tell them this will not hurt, as this idea may have never entered their mind. Please refrain from using words such as needle, shots, drill, and other words suggesting unpleasantness. If your child needs additional services such as fillings, the doctor will discuss it with you in detail and the treatment will be scheduled for a later visit.
During the first visit, we will spend time educating you and your child on proper oral hygiene techniques, and it is critical that you follow up on these techniques at home to help prevent cavities. Remember that children can be unpredictable! Keep your expectations of them reasonable. Crying may be age appropriate and should be a reasonable expectation. Remember- this is a dental JOURNEY.