First Visit – Age One Dental Visit
Many dental problems are preventable. For this reason the “AAPD”/American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the “AAP”/American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a dental visit within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth. This is usually between 12 and 18 months of age. This visit has less to do with the child (although we do want to peek inside the mouth) and more to do with trying to determine a child’s dental cavities (caries) risk. A Medical and Dental questionnaire will be given to the parent. After these forms are completed, the parent and child will meet with one of our doctors to review this information. These FORMS can be found in the FORMS section of this website. Please print them and bring them with you for your first visit. Topics of interest are varied but fluoride exposure – well water vs. fluoridated water, oral habits, oral hygiene and eating or nursing habits will be reviewed. Your child will be examined in the knee to knee position (see photo). Depending upon what we discover, your child’s teeth may be brushed and topical fluoride may be applied to their teeth. After the discussion and examination, recommendations will be made that are specific to your child. Please remember that very young children will cry when examined – just like they do when they get their hair cut or when their pediatricians examine them. We understand this and we are trained for this. We want you to realize that this is normal, age appropriate behavior (and actually can help us look inside the mouth) which is what we need to do to ensure that your child has the best chances for a healthy dental life.
Most of this first visit is directed towards the parents. They involve introductions to our office and staff. We will also show the parents how to care for their child’s teeth!
Toddler and School Aged Visit
Parents will complete a Medical and Dental health history form for each child. This form will be reviewed and discussed with one of our doctors in our consultation room which is a room with a table, chairs, toys, books, and television with age appropriate videos. We like to meet the parents and children first in a non-dental environment. We find that this is comforting to both the children and the parents. After the initial meeting, we will walk to our treatment area where your child will select a toothbrush and prizes and/or stickers that they will “win” while they are visiting our office. One of our staff members, hygienists or doctors will get started with your child. Depending upon the age of the child, they may or may not sit in the dental chair. They may sit on your lap or climb into our “magic” chair. A dental examination will be completed. The teeth may be cleaned and oral hygiene techniques reviewed with the child and parent. Fluoride gel or Fluoride varnish may be applied to the teeth. If needed, X-ray “pictures” of the teeth will be taken. The conclusion of this appointment will be a review with our doctor, explanation of the X-rays and a discussion if any further treatment is needed. Routinely, children should be seen every six months. However, some high risk patients, those with poor oral hygiene or those in orthodontic treatment, may be seen every three or four months.
Allowing your child to get to know our dental team members is just as important as the checkup itself! When your child has fun with our team it can lead to fearlessness about future visits. We see the benefits of this every day; children are so responsive to our treatment style they look forward to returning to our office.
If you have any dental anxieties, please be very careful not to pass them on to your child!
By making your child’s first “ride” in the dental chair a pleasant and interesting experience, we’re building a firm foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.