Things to Know During First Visit to Dentistry for Children

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.

The Dental Home is intended to provide a place where we can work together to take care of your child’s complete oral health care.

You can 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 would explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill," or "hurt". The office practice using words that convey the same message but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!

Dental Home

A dental home refers to an ongoing relationship between a pediatric dentist and patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivery in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way.

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.

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Five Steps for Baby's First Dental Visit

Step 1

Clinical Examination by Age 12 Months

  • Complete medical history
  • Knee-to-knee exam with a guardian
  • Note clinical dental caries
  • Soft tissue irregularities
  • White-spot lesions, tongue anatomy
  • Enamel decalcification, hypoplasia
  • Dietary staining

Step 2

Caries Risk Assessment

  • Bottle or breastfed at night on demand
  • Non-water in bedtime bottle
  • Decalcification/caries present
  • No oral home care
  • Sugary foods, snacks

Step 3

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

Step 4

Oral Home Care for Infants

  • Brush/massage teeth and gums 2x daily
  • A small, soft toothbrush
  • A tiny amount of toothpaste with fluoride
  • Guidance on thumb sucking, pacifier
  • Response to home accidents, trauma

Step 5

Future Visit

  • Based on Risk Assessment
  • Every six months
  • If delayed in development, we like to see the child every three to four months.

New Patient Forms

For your convenience prior to visiting our office, please click on the link below to print the New Patient Health History Form, complete the information and bring it with you to your first visit.