The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children should have their first dental visit by their first birthday or shortly after the eruption of their first tooth. It is important that your child’s newly erupted teeth receive proper dental care and the benefits of proper oral hygiene habits right from the start. By starting early, we can establish and develop a relationship with your child. It is never too early to educate your family about common dental issues or concerns that are specific to young children. We would like your child to know that routine dental visits will be a normal part of growing up. Remind them that you also visit the dentist regularly.
The first visit is an introduction of your child to us and our office in a friendly atmosphere.
Our goal is to have your child feel comfortable being here and have all future dental visits be positive experiences. Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and cooperative. Parents are encouraged to come back for the initial examination. Dr. Miller will want to review the medical and dental forms and any findings with you. She will also discuss diet, nutrition, habits and appropriate oral hygiene techniques for your child. A primary concern in very young children is “Early Childhood Caries” also formerly known as “baby bottle tooth decay”. This can be avoided with early prevention and supervised home care. Dr. Miller will discuss your child’s risk of dental decay from all sources at this first visit.
We use the Tell-Show-Do technique to help decrease dental anxiety.
Dr. Miller will explain what she will be doing and use words that are kid-friendly, non-frightening and age-appropriate. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use non-frightening, pleasant words to describe our procedures. We want you and your family to feel at ease the moment you arrive at our office. A positive first visit builds trust and sets the foundation for future appointments. We encourage you and your child to ask any questions that you have or discuss any anxiety they feel.
- arriving a few minutes early to allow your child to play and become familiar with our office
- talk about their visits in a positive light
- share your excitement and stories of going to the dentist yourself
- try not to threaten poor hygiene habits with getting a filling or a visit to the dentist
- avoid words that can cause anxiety like “hurt”, shot”, or “needle”.