Everything You Need to Know
About Your Child’s First Visit
Your child’s first visit is one of the most important visits with us. It is an opportunity to get to know each other, help your child gain confidence in us, and the best time to establish a baseline for their oral health. Your first visit may take longer than you expected – but isn’t your child’s comfort and health worth it?
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Parents often wonder if their children will enjoy their visits to our office. Well, there is no need to worry! In fact, kids sometimes express that they don’t ever want to leave! In addition to our kid-centered, kind approach, we have a variety of amenities, prizes, and clubs to keep your child entertained, engaged, and happy, including:
- A dedicated reception room with video games
- Kid-friendly decor
- Prizes after their visit
- No Cavity Club – kids receive a raffle ticket at their visit and a winner is chosen at the end of every month
- TVs to watch cartoons/favorite shows
We know that money can be a stresser in the balancing act of parenting. So at the conclusion of your child’s exam, the doctor will meet with you to explain what treatment we recommend. Then, a patient coordinator will meet with you to get your insurance information–don’t worry, we’ll submit the claim–and talk about other options for payment. We also offer CareCredit, a low-interest credit program, to help make it more affordable.
Parents often ask us when they should bring a child in for his or her first visit. Our general guideline follows the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), which recommends a child have his/her first dental visit at one year, or as soon as the first tooth appears.We have a lot of experience working with very young children, putting them at ease, and making sure they are comfortable. In doing so, we are setting up their expectations for what a trip to the dentist will be, and pleasant experiences will help lead to a lifetime of good oral health. We usually have your child sit on your lap, where they feel the safest, lean them back, and do an exam and tooth counting. The really important thing is getting a look in their mouths and checking to see that all teeth are developing well and that there are no signs of decay.
We also take plenty of time with you to demonstrate how to brush your child’s gums and teeth, learning about their habits, and discussing what and when they eat. If your child is old enough to be interested, we will show them around the office and explain instruments. This takes the mystery and fear out of the dental objects and quickly puts kids at ease. If you have any questions about your child’s first visit, or if you want to schedule a one-year visit, please give us a call today!
You can play a large part in preparing your youngster for his/her first visit to our office. Try to act relaxed and at ease, as your child will sense anxiety on your part. Tell your child that we will “count” and “take pictures” of his/her teeth. Do not use any fear-provoking words such as “hurt,” “pull,” “drill” and “needle.” Avoid statements like, “The doctor will not hurt you.” If someone says to you, “Don’t think of a banana,” what is the first thing you think of? A banana, of course! It’s the same with the word “hurt.”
We will thoroughly explain each of our procedures to your child, in terms that he or she can understand, before we do anything inside his or her mouth. We welcome parents into our operative areas so that we may work together to create a relationship of trust and cooperation with your child.
At the first visit, the hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, administer a fluoride treatment and check for decay. She will emphasize oral hygiene techniques and provide thorough instructions to both you and your child. We do a full examination including x-rays, looking for issues with bite, and inspecting all teeth and supporting structures. Finally, the doctor will review any available history, the findings from the appointment, and schedule any subsequent appointments for restorations and sealants.
What if I have questions? When do we come back?
We will answer any questions you may have in the office, or you can always contact us. At the first appointment, we like to schedule a six-month re-care visit. Don’t worry. We know how busy you are. We’ll send you a postcard to remind you.