Your child's first visit is usually filled with curiosity and anticipation.
Our goal is to create a warm, friendly atmosphere that welcomes each child into our practice. Certainly there will be questions about your child's first visit by both you and your child. The procedures your child will be completing will be explained to them in terms that they will understand, without provoking any anxiety. For example,Terms such as "Mr. Thirsty", or the "Tickle-Toothbrush" are descriptive words used to describe the saliva ejector and the prophy brush used during the dental cleaning. These words are easily understandable by the child, while explaining their function. We will also utilize the "Tell-Show Do" technique, in which the child is simply informed of what is to occur, show them by either demonstrating on their hand or a parent, and then completing the procedure, once acclimated, on the child him or herself. It is therefore best, when speaking to your young child at home, to simplify the description of the procedures that they will be exposed to in child-friendly terms , leaving them excited, rather than fearful, for their first visit.
Can I Accompany My Child?
We do welcome parents to join their children in the operatory. It can be both wonderful and satisfying to you to see your child interacting with us, laughing, and enjoying their visit. If your child prefers to come in alone, we will inform you of what will be completed at the visit, and leave the door open for yo to rejoin us at any time. Younger children may not be able to complete all of the parts of the typical first visit....the examination, the cleaning and the application of fluoride. We encourage the child to participate in their visit, making sure each step of the way that their (and your) questions are answered and apprehension eliminated. Radiographs (X-rays) are usually not taken until the age of four or five. Whatever level your child can successfully complete during their first visit will be celebrated. So often parents are amazed at how "easy" their first visit was, and hear at their next visit how eager they were to return. We strive to have your child leave with that sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves, knowing that a new, fun, caring relationship has begun to develop between them and their dentist.
At What Age Should My Child See the Dentist?
Good dental habits should begin before the first tooth appears. The AAPD and the AAP recommend that children between the ages of one to three be seen in our office for a gentle, comprehensive oral examination. The child, due to their young age, may not be able to complete the cleaning or application of fluoride at the initial meeting. We can, however, discuss nutritional recommendations, complete a caries risk assessment and review home care instructions during their visit that may help educate the parent, thereby providing you with the tools to create an environment at home that will promote healthy teeth for many years to come. This establishment of your child's dental home will serve your child for many years ahead.
Why does my child need to come at such a young age?
The main reason is to prevent problems from arising early on and becoming problematic for your child in the future. A successful preventative program can help guide you and your child to a successful future. Dental problems can begin at an early age. Tooth decay can develop as soon as the first tooth appears. A perfect example of this, is the finding of Early Childhood Caries, previously known as Nursing Bottle Decay. Discussion of the possible causes that could put your child at risk will preserve their dental health as they grow. It is important to care for your child's baby teeth because they act as placeholder for adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, they teeth that are left may move and not leave any room for the adult teeth. Early diagnosis of any caries lends itself to successful treatment and resolution of the problem. Tooth decay in baby teeth can be painful and cause health problems like infection, which can sometimes be life-threatening. Children with healthy teeth eat better, feel better and smile with confidence!