The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child’s first visit to the dentist to occur by his/her first birthday. The ideal time for your child’s first dental visit is by twelve months of age. By starting early, we can enable your child to enjoy the lifelong benefits of a healthy mouth. The earlier the visit, the better the chances of preventing tooth decay and other problems. Some dental problems unfortunately begin very early in life. Children who are nursing or drinking a bottle at night after the first birthday are at a higher risk for Nursing Caries or Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
How to prepare for a First visit
It is our pleasure to serve patients (and their parents) to enable them have enjoyable experiences and a positive outlook on dental care. Our staff is trained and skilled in making the visit as fun for the kids as possible, with the help of personal, monitors, manicures, and a host fun techniques and prizes. With your help we can make this initial visit the most positive experience possible!
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Information for parents
Here are a few suggestions to prepare your youngster for the initial visit:
- Schedule the first visit early in the morning. It is not always easy to do this because of school, work, etc. but children have a much easier time coping with any new situation or a potentially stressful event earlier in the day. It is our goal to have their dental visit be a positive experience.
- Inform your child of the appointment. Tell your child that the dentist wants to get to know him/her; present this visit as an exciting experience for yourself and for your child. One way to convey good feelings to your child about dental visits is to remind them that going to the dentist is a sign that they are growing up.
- Tell your child that we will “count,” “brush,” and “take pictures” of his/her teeth. By explaining the exam and the cleaning in these terms, your child will better understand the situation.
Be incredibly positive about this experience. Avoid negative words such as “hurt,” “drill,” “pull,” and “shot.” Please do not tell your child that the “dentist will not hurt you” as this may never have entered his/her mind. Instead, you may wish to assure your child that the dentist and her helpers will be gentle and friendly. Talk about dentistry with a positive attitude. This initial examination involves nothing uncomfortable and should be perceived by the child as non-threatening.
- Discuss dentistry honestly with your child when he/she asks you questions. Children listen to your tone of voice and can detect your feelings very easily. If your child has questions that are difficult for you to answer, please refer him/her to our pediatric
dental team for the proper answer and discussion.
Bring only the child that is to be seen for the dental visit so that both the parent and dental staff can concentrate on that child’s needs.
- We welcome the parent(s) presence during examination appointments. However, this privilege will be evaluated according to each child’s behavior. The parent(s) should be a passive observer at all times during the child’s dental visit.
- If your child requires treatment, we ask that you allow them to accompany our staff, by themselves, through the dental experience. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety. Separation anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. This is normal and will soon diminish.
Studies and experience have shown that most children react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own and in an environment designed especially for children. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension. Our office can only achieve a successful relationship with your child when the parents show that they have confidence in our dental care.
- After the appointment, compliment your child’s good behavior at the dentist’s office in the presence of other members of the family.