The First Visit
Welcome to the wonderful world of pediatric dentistry and our practice specially designed for children!
In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, our Westminster dental office recommends that you schedule your child’s first dental visit by his/her first birthday. More than 1 in 4 children in the U.S. have cavities by the time they are 4 years of age. To prevent the development of early childhood cavities, parents need to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities, learn how to manage diet and oral hygiene, and the safe use of fluoride to prevent problems before they start.
We believe that your child’s first dental visit with us should be fun, educational, and provide a positive foundation from which future visits can build. It is our goal to provide the highest quality of care for your child and welcome the opportunity to answer parent's and caregiver's questions and address concerns.
If this is the very first dental visit for your child, you may find it helpful for both mom and dad to be present. During this visit we will teach you and your child how to best care for his/her teeth through brushing and flossing, discuss beneficial eating habits, and answer any of your questions. We will also address how cavities form and what can be done to prevent them. Information is always age appropriate, allowing us to create a comfortable and educational environment that focuses on the individual needs of your child. Please be aware that fussing or crying is age appropriate behavior for some children and does not determine a positive or negative experience.
On your child’s first visit we will…
- Examine your child’s teeth and gums. If the child is very young, a “knee to knee examination” will take place so that your child feels you close to them. Your child will be on your lap while we examine and provide treatment.
- Clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride.
- Discuss your child’s overall oral health: growth and development, teething, pacifier use and sucking habits, cavity risk factors, as well as trauma and accident prevention.
- Discuss feeding habits including but not limited to: nursing, bottle-feeding, sippy cups as well as food and drink choices.
- Demonstrate to both parents and child how to properly clean your child’s teeth.
- Take x-rays if necessary and age appropriate.
- Make recommendations about daily home care including hygiene, diet, and safe fluoride use
- Answer any questions you may have and discuss any treatment needs for your child.
- Review follow-up recare visit.
- Positively reinforce cooperative behavior through verbal praise and prizes.
Preparation for this visit should include simple and positive explanations. You may wish to say that you might get to have your picture taken and Dr. Dave will count your teeth. You may wish to highlight that there are books to read, fish to look at, Lego’s to build with, and even a show to watch. Please refrain from using words and phrases like: pain, shot, drill, needle, cavity, and “it won’t hurt.”
It is best to explain that going to the dentist is fun, natural, and an important part of staying healthy. If you have any other questions regarding the visit, please don’t hesitate to ask!