Our office, as well as The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling the first dental visit for your child around the age of 1. The purpose of this initial visit to establish a positive relationship with your child and to evaluate your child’s dental health. A pleasant and comfortable first visit builds trust, and helps to put the child at ease for future dental visits.
What to Expect
The first visit consists of a comprehensive dental exam, a dental cleaning (“brushing”), and fluoride treatment. If appropriate, we may take selected x-rays (“pictures”) of your child’s teeth. X-rays are essential in completely and properly diagnosing cavities and other dental problems. Without x-rays, certain serious dental conditions can and will be missed. To ensure that every precaution is taken for the safety of your child during x-ray procedures, we take the minimum number of x-rays for a proper diagnosis. Additionally, we use a digital x-ray system, which supplies less radiation than conventional x-rays, and all children wear a lead apron during x-rays.
How Parents Can Help
Parents: you can help make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. If you are unsure of how to answer a question that your child has, encourage them to ask the doctor at their appointment. The less detail you share concerning the visit, the better. Try to avoid using words around your child that may cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “hurt”, “drill”, etc.
Our office makes a practice of using child-friendly words to describe dental instruments and procedures, as well as techniques like “Tell-Show-Do” to help your child understand and feel comfortable during the appointment. Our intention is to create a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere and to help build confidence in your child.
We are dedicated to providing your child with a comfortable and enjoyable experience!
We really like these books about going to the dentist!
- “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- “Going to the Dentist” by Anne Civardi
- “Max Goes to the Dentist” by Adria F. Klein
- “Dora the Explorer-Show me Your Smile!” by Christine Ricci
- “Brush Your Teeth Please” by Leslie McGuire and Jean Pidgeon