The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit to be no later than your child’s 1st birthday. A child’s preparation for a dental visit begins long before you step into the office. Here are a few simple tips to help you, and your child have a positive experience and feel comfortable on your first dental visit.
- We encourage parents to schedule appointment in the morning for children of age five or younger. It’s important that your children is well rested for his/her appointment. This helps minimize anxiety and allows your child to have a relaxed first visit experience.
- Let your children know in advance about their dental visit in a positive way. Explain that a doctor/friend will help him/her clean and get their teeth bright and shiny. Talk to him/her about fun things, for example you can say, “Maybe, after the doctor makes your teeth shiny, they’ll want to take a picture of them!”
- A visit to the dentist should be viewed as something normal, and not something that requires special bravery. Avoid using a dental visit as a threat.
- Make sure you don’t use any negative words about the dental treatment. Comments such as, “the doctor won’t hurt you”, need to be avoided since, such a thought might have never crossed your child‘s mind. Do not use terms such as “pull”, “shot”, “drill” etc. The dental office is specially trained to avoid all those terms to make sure your child feel comfortable, safe and unafraid during the dental procedure.
- We know sometimes it’s difficult for parents to cope with the fact your young child will be treated in a dental office, but it’s important to avoid transferring your anxiety to your child. Try to “be cool” and remember that Dr E and her staff have been specially trained to treat young children. Also, remember that check-ups and initial visits most of the time does not require any complex or difficult procedures.
- Parents are welcome to be present during the examination appointments. The parent should act as a passive observer and be supportive of the doctor and her team. It’s important how parents behave during the dental procedure since that can affect the way your child reacts to the current and future dental visits. Make sure you follow the doctor advice during the appointment.
- After the appointment, make sure you compliment the behavior of your child.
You’ll be given an office tour to get your child and you familiarized with the facility:
- You’ll meet the doctor and the staff.
- For children under 3 years of age, the consultation will happen in our special “Nursery Room”. This is a non-threatening room where the doctor will examine the child’s teeth and take the time to discuss with the parents how to achieve and maintain excellent oral health for years to come.
- For older kids, the appointment will happen in our “Space Room”. Here, either the doctor or our hygienist will do a complete oral examination, prophylaxys or ‘teeth cleaning’, and a fluoride varnish treatment if necessary.
- Generally speaking, a first examination includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Evaluating the overall oral health of your child
- Checking for cavities
- Evaluating occlusion (how the teeth come together)
- Evaluating childhood habits (nail biting, thumb sucking, etc)
- Cleaning and flossing teeth
- Obtaining X-rays (if needed) for diagnostic purposes, using our digital x-ray equipment
We appreciate the opportunity to serve your children and we want to make sure your first visit is enjoyable and pleasant. Please, call us today if you have any questions regarding their visit.