The doctors at Summerfield Pediatric Dentistry strive to make the first dental visit as enjoyable and fun as possible.
We encourage parents to schedule their child’s first dental visit sometime around their first birthday. Given the unique needs of each child, we recommend discussing timing with your pediatrician and our doctors.
We emphasize dental treatment that is age appropriate. For younger patients, we explain procedures in a non-threatening manner, using kid-friendly words that help translate dental terminology into everyday objects. For example, “examination” is known as the “counting of teeth,” “fluoride” is referred to as “vitamins,” and the “curing light” becomes the “Power Ranger light.”
When children like their first dental experience, they will be more likely and willing to return and to care for their teeth. In fact, studies (and our experience) have shown that most children over the age of three react more positively when allowed to experience their first dental visit on their own and in an environment that is built around them.
That said, anxiety before and during the first visit is perfectly normal. This may be due to a previous negative dental experience, separation from a parent, or simply not knowing what to expect. This behavior is normal and will diminish as your child becomes more familiar and comfortable with our office and staff members.
We are trained in helping children overcome worries and in giving you the information that will help them do so. We will happily recommend books and online resources to assist you in introducing young ones to the dentist. Conversely, we ask that you refrain from over-preparing your child for the initial visit. Avoid detailed explanations and scary words like “pull,” “shot,” “drill,” or “hurt.”
We believe the first visit should be kept brief, especially for children under the age of five and those with previous bad dental experience. You shouldn’t be upset if the visit happens to be limited to a “look-and-see” only. As our doctors build trust with your child, they will gradually make each visit more involved and enjoyable.
We see the first visit as an initial step in creating a happy and healthy relationship that will lead to a lifetime of dental care.