Your Child's First Visit
Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend that a child's first dental visit be scheduled by at least his/her 1st birthday. This may sound surprising. Although a child may have only a few baby teeth visible at this age, there are many things we can start working on — including establishing healthy oral hygiene and diet practices that will prevent cavities and make future visits to the dentist far more pleasurable. Unfortunately, some kids develop tooth decay at an early age. We will be on the lookout for cavities but equally important is our discussion of topics such as, your child’s developmental milestones, thumb/pacifier habits, fluoride use, and how to respond to a dental emergency.
Preparing for the Big Day
It is very important to make the first visit as positive and enjoyable as possible. We want your child to enjoy getting to know our dental team and be comfortable at all times. A positive first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits.
Kids can pick up on their parents' feelings. If you are nervous about going to the dentist yourself, try not to let it show. Instead, you can even build some excitement by helping them get ready for “the big day.” Let the child know that we will explain everything and will answer any questions. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel with us. Before the first visit, you can prepare your child by letting them know we may take radiographs (x-rays) of their teeth, examine their teeth and jaws, and clean their teeth and gums to keep smiles looking their best. Please refrain from using any words that could cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle" or "drill."
We are experienced in treating children with anxiety and can explain treatment procedures in a positive and pleasant manner to avoid any anxious or negative feelings toward dentistry. We know kids, especially younger ones, can feel anxious at the dentist office. Your child can bring a comforting toy to help to feel more at home and we will provide a fun, friendly environment to keep your child relaxed and stress-free at every appointment!