What to Expect at Your First Visit

It is important to bring your child in for their first visit by age one to establish a dental home. If you have older children who are already coming to the office, you may schedule your infant for a first visit at the same time. At this visit we will not only look into your child’s mouth, but we will assess your home care routine. We will work with you to develop a plan that works with your schedule and will help to prevent decay.

Our staff is trained for working with children. We give each child individual attention and praise to create a friendly, fun environment. Many children love coming to our office for a chance to see our staff, “their friends,” and play games. Our office is equipped with several televisions throughout the treatment areas with child friendly movies playing. We also have toys and stuffed animals to make your child feel right at home.

As a parent, your role in the first visit is crucial. Children are very keen to our moods and feelings. They are able to sense when you are nervous for them or display any anxiety. You can help by using positive language around your child when speaking of the dentist. You can also role play with him or her and count their teeth at home. There are several children’s books and videos available to help familiarize them with what to expect at their first appointment. The first visit is exciting and can be lots of fun for everyone. Your positive outlook will assist them in creating a positive outlook for a lifetime of great dental care.

During the first visit you will be invited back with your infant. Together we will review your child’s health history and will discuss your main concerns about their teeth. The hygienist will work with you on topics such as: home care, tooth brushing, diet and feeding habits, and oral habits. They will discuss things such as pacifiers or thumb sucking, and will answer any questions you may have. The doctor will then perform a thorough exam and count all the teeth. The exam includes your child’s head, neck, teeth, and intra-oral soft tissue. The occlusion, or the way that the teeth are aligned and function together, will also be evaluated. Radiographs or x-rays will only be taken if they can be executed successfully and are needed in the complete diagnosis of your child’s dental health. If your child has any issues or signs of decay, the doctor will talk with you about your treatment options. In some cases the doctors may ask you to come in more frequently for exams and evaluations if they believe the child is at risk of developing cavities.

During future appointments, once the child is age appropriate, we respectfully request that parents remain in the reception room while we care for your child. We have learned that we can establish a direct and close relationship more quickly with your child when you remain in the reception area. Our goal is to gain your child’s confidence and help him or her to overcome any apprehension. At age three we begin cleaning your child’s teeth and placing fluoride. The fluoride treatment will help in cavity prevention. We will finish with the doctor counting your child’s teeth while giving them a thorough exam.