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Your child's First Dental visit

first visit to dentistMany parents and children feel apprehensive prior to a child's first dental visit. We hope that the following information will answer your questions, eliminate your fears and put you at ease as we assure you that we will do our best to make your child's visit as comfortable as possible.

What to Expect

We begin seeing children at six months of age. At this visit, the parent will come into the operatory with the child and we will clean and floss their teeth, provide a fluoride treatment and a complete dental exam. A dental health educator will then discuss how you can best care for your child's dental needs - covering topics such as brushing and flossing, habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use, and emergencies/trauma. The dentist will individually evaluate your child and answer specific questions.

Once your child is 3 years or older, we ask that you allow our staff to accompany your child through their dental experience. Over the years we have found that children focus more on the task at hand if a parent is not present. We need their attention for a solid 45 minutes and if mom or dad is nearby, the natural tendency is for the child to pull toward their parent and away from the dentist. When others are in the room the child's attention is divided and it becomes difficult to regain his confidence. This makes our treatment much more difficult. While some children are upset leaving mom or dad, our office is specifically designed to put a child at ease with toys, video games, and overhead TVs and DVDs. Once separated most children do better on their own. This separation anxiety is normal and parents should not be alarmed if their child exhibits some negative behavior. Please do not be upset if your child cries. Crying is normal as it is not unusual for children to be afraid of anything new or strange. We are used to crying and are specially trained to help your child through this. Kindness is the greatest contributor to overcoming fear, and it must be our united objective to eliminate dental fears.

Remember "Show and Tell"?

brushing teethOur office uses a policy of tell, show and do.

This enables us to guide them through their experience. With each child we attempt a cleaning, fluoride treatment, flossing and X-rays. Should your child become upset, we will discontinue treatment or consult you as to how you would like us to proceed. We will use no aggressive measures to treat your child.

We will evaluate the way your child's teeth come together, see if there is enough room for permanent teeth, and see if childhood habits - like thumbsucking or tongue thrushing - have caused any harm to teeth or jaws.

How to Prepare Your Child

We ask that parents prepare their child at home and explain where and why she is going to the dental office. When discussing this, all conversation should be positive. Words such as needle, pain, shot, or hurt should be avoided. Most fears come from what children hear from their parents. We prefer that these thoughts do not enter your child's mind. Please explain to your child that the gentle dentist will brush their teeth with a spinning toothbrush, count them, and take pictures of their teeth. Please try to create excitement for your child so that he looks forward to each visit!

Schedule

We try to accommodate all patients as efficiently as possible. We prefer to see patients under six years of age in the morning when they are less tired, rather than in the afternoon when they may become more irritable as naptime approaches. These early morning appointments enable us to better communicate with your child, ensuring a positive experience.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or call us today to schedule a first visit.