By starting early dental visits you will help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits. Of primary importance on the first visit is the introduction of you and your child to our dental team and office, creating an experience that is both enjoyable and informative. Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her first birthday.
After the introduction of parent, child, and dentist, a comprehensive intraoral examination and diagnosis will be gently performed. X rays are not a matter of routine. When necessary they will be taken with our state of the art digital system to see how facial bones and teeth are developing and to find hidden decay. In the absence of any dental problems your child's teeth will be cleaned and a pleasant tasting fluoride treatment applied. In addition, valuable oral hygiene instruction (brushing, flossing, home fluoride etc.) will be explained. Habit developments and nutrition will be discussed, and all of your questions answered. You, the parents, play the leading role in keeping your child's smile bright and healthy.
If your child is over the age of 3, we ask that you allow them to accompany our staff through the dental visit. 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 shows some. This is normal and will soon diminish. Studies and our extensive experience have shown that most children over the age of 3 react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own and in an environment designed for children. We welcome any questions concerning your child's particular needs.
There are several things you can do to help your child enjoy their dental visit:
- Tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor who cares for children's teeth and smiles.
- Tell your child the first visit will be to count and clean their teeth.
- Please avoid any reference to needles, drilling, or hurting, which only serve to frighten your child. We will explain these things in our own words if necessary.
- Don't let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits.
- When in doubt, say as little as possible. And please, never make promises that you know cannot be kept.
- Talk about your child's first dental visit in a positive, matter of fact way, as you would any important new experience. A visit to the dentist should be a delightful adventure for your child.
We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!
Starting at Age 1
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 one year of age.
The Dental Home is intended to provide a place other than the Emergency Room for parents.
Pleasant First Visit
When the child is seen at one year, the first visit can be pleasant and uneventful, introducing the child and parents to the dental office. Emphasis is on the developmental assessment of the child’s oral health. Caries (tooth decay) or developmental disturbances can be managed early. Fluoride varnish may be applied to counteract beginning decay on newly erupted teeth.
Five Steps for Baby's First Dental Visit
by Age 12 Months
- Complete medical history
- Knee-to-knee exam with guardian
- Note clinical dental caries
- Soft tissue irregularities
- White-spot lesions, tongue anatomy
- Enamel decalification, hypoplasia
- Dietary staining
Caries Risk Assessment
- Bottle or breast fed at night on demand
- Non-water in bedtime bottle
- Decalcification/caries present
- No oral home care
- Sugary foods, snacks
Diet Counseling for Infants
- No juice or milk in bed
- Sippy cups can encourage decay
- Avoid sugar drinks, sodas
- Encourage variety and a balanced diet
- Low-sugar snacks
- Fluorides – topical and systemic
Oral Home Care for Infants
- Brush/massage teeth and gums 2x daily
- Small, soft toothbrush
- Tiny amount of toothpaste, with Fluoride
- Guidance on thumb sucking, pacifier
- Response for home accidents, trauma
- Based on Risk Assessment
- At age one year
- Two years if delayed in development