Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Tell your child that a trip to the dentist will be fun and easy.
It is best to refrain from using high anxiety words that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “hurt” “shot” “pull” “drill” or “needle”. Try not to tell your child how much you may “hate” the dentist yourself, or what it felt like to get your teeth “drilled”. Children usually have fear if someone at the home or children around the neighborhood tell them scary stories. Try not to tell them what you think the dentist may or may not do. Keep it simple, happy and positive. Our office uses words that give the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. Follow our lead if you can.
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. However, during future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. After all, they love you, but sometimes with a parent in the room, children would rather listen to you than to us, and it could make treatment difficult. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome fear or apprehension. However, if you choose, you may come with your child in the treatment room, and only one parent is allowed at a time. Try not to get too involved. It is helpful if the only voice your child hears is that of the Doctor. If you bring other children with you, they should remain in the reception area with a supervising adult.
What to expect for your child’s first visit:
- Meet and greet and make your child feel welcome.
- Review the medical and health history forms
- Take x-rays of the teeth – if able
- Clean and polish teeth, checking for plaque and tarter build up, any signs of tooth decay or gingivitis
- Preventative oral hygiene instructions
Following the dental examination and polishing of the teeth, the doctor will meet with you to discuss x-rays, answer any questions you may have and develop a treatment plan if needed.
Regular check-ups are important to maintaining a healthy smile
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visiting your dentist every six months for regular check-ups, routine teeth cleanings and preventative fluoride applications to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We understand that you have a busy schedule. When you are preparing your child’s visit with us for the first time, keep in mind, we work on “kid’s time”, and your appointment could last between 45-60 minutes, perhaps a bit longer, depending on the “moods” of the children we see that day.