We, along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommend the first dental examination by 12 months of age. Many problems which might otherwise develop can be prevented by early intervention.
As appropriate for the child's age, please discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. Convey good feelings about dental visits as being part of growing up. If you as the parent are stressed out before the visit occurs, likely your child will pick up on your vibe and sense your anxiety as well!
Rather than, "the dentist will not hurt you", say things like "the dentist will be very gentle". Expect your child to react well and enjoy the first visit to our office and chances are he/she will do exactly that.
The dentist will review the health history form with you. Your child will be introduced to our dental team, allowed time to see the office and become comfortable before the examination.
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. Following the exam, any findings and recommendations will be discussed.
During future appointments, we suggest that you remain in the reception room while we are working with your child. Although parents are regularly in and out of the treatment area, we find we can establish a direct and close rapport more quickly with your child when mommy or daddy is not present (just like preschool). Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome any apprehension.
Please do not be upset if your child cries. Children are often afraid of anything new and strange, and crying is the normal reaction to that fear (remember their first haircut or picture with Santa Claus?!)
Depending on the need, diagnostic x-rays (we use digital x-rays) may be taken to determine your child's present dental condition. The doctor will examine the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and perform a head and neck examination as necessary. If no immediate treatment is needed, the teeth will be cleaned and a topical fluoride treatment will be applied. Additional services or treatment will be scheduled for a later visit.