First Dental Visit
We are delighted you have chosen our practice for your child’s first dental visit. We want to share some information to help you prepare for your first visit to our office.
First Visit Tip: Make sure your child doesn't come with a "high" ponytail hairstyle to ensure comfort while lying back in the dental chair.
We are not your typical dental office. As specialists in dentistry for children, our approach may be different from what you are accustomed to. The following information will help you and your child prepare to have a fun and informative visit!
As parents/legal guardians, you play an integral role in what a child perceives at the first visit. Giving a child too much information about dentistry can have a negative impact. As the first visit date draws near, simply explain to your child that their teeth will be counted, brushed and checked by the dentist. Our staff has been trained to be able to comfort most children helping to avoid negative experiences. Our office is designed to create a warm & friendly atmosphere for children of all ages. We encourage parents to remain in our waiting room during your child’s appointments (with the exception of an infant visit). This will help acclimate your child to the new surroundings and gain a working, positive relationship with our staff. We will thoroughly explain each procedure to your child using age appropriate terminology. Our main goal is to mold your child into a competent and confident dental patient, so that when they reach adulthood they continue their routine dental care.
Another goal for the first visit is to provide parents with the “do's & don’ts” concerning dietary habits, brushing routines, fluoride supplements, and answer any questions or concerns you have.
Our main objective is to introduce dentistry in a fun, non-threatening manner. If your child needs any treatment (cleaning, fillings, etc) future visits will be based on the positive foundation built from the initial visit. There are many books (some are well written & there are some to avoid), which can be read to your child or a storyline similar to the example below can be used to tell them what to expect (ask us for our list).
“The dentist will help you keep your teeth healthy. The dentist will count them and make them sparkle with a special toothbrush. They might take some pictures to see underneath your teeth and will give you a new tooth brush so you can keep them clean. Afterward you can pick a prize.”
Please do not threaten a visit to the dentist as punishment for not brushing or for poor behavior. Instead, help your child understand that healthy foods and brushing keeps their teeth healthy and strong. If you are bringing non-appointed children, we ask that any siblings remain in the waiting room play area. This should be seen as a special time for your appointed child and having other siblings nearby during the visit is a distraction. Your other children will be allowed in for a brief tour at the end of the visit if so desired.
Age One Visit
Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled between 12 to 18 months of age. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with the dentist and staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. Dr. Bob and his staff will explain the many do’s & don’ts & offer you “tricks of the trade” in respect to at home dental care. A brief exam will be performed, with your assistance, to assess the health of erupting teeth & surrounding gingiva (gums).
Dr. Bob, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by 12 to 18 months. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care & less likely to have dental disease.
If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that Dr. Bob and his staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less information concerning the visit that you try and provide the better—too much information can be quite confusing to a young patient!
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as:
The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message and are age appropriate as well as non-frightening to the child.
Parents should be careful sharing their own childhood dental experiences, as this may have a negative impact on a child before they encounter their own first experience. To gain your child’s trust & obtain a rapport, we ask that parents/guardians stay in our waiting room at future visits. This will allow your child to concentrate on the person performing the cleaning/procedure without distractions. Dr. Bob and his staff strive to create an individualized, fun experience for each child at every visit.