Our office, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend that children have their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. The age 1 dental exam provides a unique opportunity to learn about your child's oral health and begin a preventive program before problems occur. During the infant exam we perform a gentle but thorough examination of your child's teeth, oral soft tissues and growth and development and we discuss a number of topics important to your child's oral health.
For older children, or as cooperation permits, a cleaning, comprehensive examination and fluoride treatment are performed and radiographs (x-rays) are taken if indicated. Following our evaluation a treatment plan will be established and discussed with you and we will address specific concerns you may have regarding your child's oral health.
The first visit is an excellent time to learn about your child's risk for developing dental disease, how to care for your child's teeth, appropriate use of fluoride, oral habits (thumb, finger, pacifier), teething, relationship between diet and oral health and the management of oral trauma and accidents.
Parents are encouraged to accompany their child during their initial examination so we can discover together what needs to be done to protect your child's smile.
Preparing Your Child for Their First Visit
For children one year of age and younger it is important to set the appropriate time for the appointment. Young children tend to do best earlier in the day when they are well rested. Try not to interfere with snack or nap time. Bring a favorite toy or blanket along since children often feel more secure when they have familiar items with them. Although most young children do quite well for their firs visit, occasionally a child will cry for some part of their appointment. Know that our compassionate staff will be there to help them through to a smiling finish.
For preschoolers and older children, there are excellent stories which describe a visit to the dentist. Please discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. Convey good feelings to your child about dental visits being a part of growing up. Avoid projecting any fears you may have about dental treatment. Please do not say, “The dentist will not hurt you.” This statement often suggests that hurting is a distinct possibility. Instead, offer them a general idea of what to expect such as “ The dentist is going to show you new and fun things to make your teeth sparkle and your smile pretty.” We will present your child with a detailed explanation of each procedure. Expect your child to react well and enjoy the first visit to our office and chances are he or she will do exactly that.
Please call us with any questions you may have concerning our new patient visits.