When should I schedule my child’s first visit?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend your child’s first dental visit occur no later than six months after the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday.
What can I expect during my child’s first visit?
Dentistry for Kids is pleased to offer a “Get Acquainted Visit” for you and your child on your child’s first birthday. In addition to meeting our doctors and answering any questions you may have, the following topics will be addressed:
- Oral Hygiene
- Dietary Recommendations
- Eruption Sequence of Teeth
- Tour of the office
During your child’s initial exam you can expect:
An Exam: Our doctors will gently examine your child’s teeth and gum tissue, review oral hygiene, offer suggestions as needed, ensure the appropriate number of teeth have erupted, and verify the child is receiving the proper amount of fluoride.
X-rays: If needed, x-rays will help us identify decay and evaluate the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under their gums.
Cleaning and Fluoride Application: If necessary, we may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to prevent decay.
Most importantly, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
By initiating dental visits at an early age, you will help your child build a lifetime of healthy dental habits.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under 18 years of age to the consultation visit.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR THEIR FIRST DENTAL VISIT?
Dentistry for Kids strives to help each child receive dental care with confidence and without apprehension.
To accomplish this goal, the team of interested partners (parents, the dentist and staff) must cooperate and share a mutual trust.
Visiting the dentist should not be an intimidating experience. It should be comfortable, educational, and positive. A child will become anxious, however, if their parents are fearful and concerned.
We suggest approaching the first visit in a positive and factual manner. Tell your child the dentist is their friend and he or she will shine a bright light in their mouth and use a tiny mirror to help them count their teeth. Describe x-rays as tooth pictures and the radiography machine as a dental camera. Tell your child the visit will be short and there will be games and friendly people. Don’t use words like “fear,” “shot,” “poke,” “needle”, “pull”, “drill” or “hurt.” We use words which convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
One of the following books may be helpful when introducing the concept of the dentist to your child:
- Show Me Your Smile: Dora’s visit to the Dentist
- Berenstain Bears go to the Dentist
- What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist
- Freddie Visits the Dentist
- How Many Teeth?
- Just Going to the Dentist
You can also prepare your child for the dentist by practicing counting their teeth with them at home and/or if your child has older siblings, have them accompany their brother or sister to their dental appointment.