Preparing Your Child
The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Dental Association and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
Tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor who will help your child stay healthy. Talk about the visit in a POSITIVE, matter-of-fact way, as you would about any important new experience. The less said concerning the visit, the better. A visit to the office can be a very pleasant adventure for both you and your child.
What to Expect on the First Visit
On the first visit, your child will be introduced to our dental team. Your child will be shown all the instruments the Doctor will use on the first visit, i.e., the tooth counter, the tooth mirror, Mr. Thirsty, etc. You and your child will also learn the importance of preventive home care skills to help your child's teeth stay healthy and strong.
The Doctor will then gently examine your child's teeth, gums and the remainder of the mouth. X-rays will only be taken only if necessary and usually beginning at age 6. This will help us to detect tooth decay as well as development of the permanent teeth. Orthodontic evaluations are completed at the same time. Depending on the age of your child, a thorough cleaning of the teeth and a fluoride treatment might be completed. If your child is too apprehensive, a cleaning and fluoride treatment WILL NOT be pushed! We want our patients to leave our office with a smile on their face. Pleasant visits help a child establish trust and confidence that will last a lifetime. Additional treatment, if required, will be discussed and scheduled for a future date.
It is our goal to develop a close and direct rapport with your child in order to gain his or her trust quickly. We do realize that each child has different needs and anxieties and we have an OPEN DOOR POLICY. Parents are welcome to come into the treatment rooms and stay with their child during the appointment.
Please do not be upset if your child cries. Children are often afraid of anything new and strange, and crying is the normal reaction to fear. A parent's positive and encouraging words following the visit, such as "You were very brave today', "Isn't it easy to have your teeth counted", etc., will help your child for their following visits.
We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!
- Try to make early appointments that don't conflict with nap or mealtime...young children do best when they are rested.
- The best time for a young child's dental visit is in the morning. Early dental experiences will set the tone for how your child will forever view their trips to the dentist. Make these visits a priority. Missing a small amount of preschool can lead to a lifetime of anxiety free dental visits for your child.
- Try to make appointments that don't conflict with nap or mealtime. Young children do best when they are rested.
- Set a good example by letting your child see you brush and floss regularly.
- Do not let the child know that you have any anxiety about going to the dentist.
- Do not threaten a dental visit as a means of punishment. Do not let anyone tell your child scary stories about a dental visit.
- Do not bribe your child into going to the dentist. Promising a special gift tends to make children suspicious. Offering a reward indicates that there is something to fear.
- Do not come for a visit when your child is not feeling well. They will be miserable and not have a very good experience and they will infect other children in the practice.
A parent or legal guardian is required to be present on the day of your child's first dental visit. We cannot begin your child's visit without accompaniment by either a parent or legal guardian.