We strive to make the first dental visit enjoyable and fun!
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.
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.
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.” With all the cool designs and toys, we hope to impress them by surprise.
We believe the first visit should be kept brief, especially for children under the age of five and those with a 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.
Prior your visit and for a shorter time in the waiting room, please be sure to complete our New Patient Form well in advance of your appointment. Our skilled hygienists and assistants prepare for each new patient the day prior to assure the most positive experience.
Some Helpful Tips:
You can have all the necessary forms completed directly online in the comfort of your home! To view and complete these forms, please visit the forms section. All you will need to do next is simply sign them digitally online. Rest assured, privacy is our priority and this is the reason we work with a powerful company like Formstack & WebMerge to achieve this.
Make your child's first dental visit all about him or her. Our doctors advise that you schedule your own dental appointment on a day other than your child's. Parents' own anxiety can transpire to their children. Please don’t rush their first appointment. Let them play in the playroom by coming earlier and allow them to take their time.
For the very young ones, we suggest you bring a familiar item from home with you — a favorite toy or furry friend, and perhaps their own toothbrush, toothpaste or spin brush.
Introduce your child to the pediatric dentist through books, videos, and games, however, do not over prepare. Refrain from using words like "poke," "pull," "will not hurt," and "drill". We can suggest books and videos if you wish.
Younger children often tire later in the day and during their nap time. We recommend that you schedule appointments for those under the age of five earlier in the morning when they are refreshed and alert.
Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of my regular dentist?
Like pediatricians, the pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet the needs of the young patient. We are the big authority in little teeth as noted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. We specialize in the oral health of infants through adolescents onto to their early adulthood. More importantly, we are trained in guiding a child’s behavior so that the dental experience is a positive one and instill healthy practices that will continue into adulthood. We have a proven clinical record of more than 10 years of achieving this!
At what age should I bring my child to the dentist for their first visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit be around age one or about the time the first teeth erupt. A pediatric dentists will review with you the best brushing techniques, how much toothpaste to use and when to start, bottle and pacifier use and much more. It is during this visit that you establish a dental home for your child so that in the event of that unexpected slip or fall you are prepared to seek the right help. We find that children who start their dental visits after the age of two have greater difficulty with their first visit and often require extensive dental treatment.
Why do I need to worry about cavities on baby teeth that fall out?
The health of baby teeth has implications long after those teeth have fallen out. One way cavities are formed is by acid producing bacteria that eat away at the enamel. Such bacteria can be passed onto adult teeth causing further cavities. Baby teeth also provide the architectural framework for the eruption of adult teeth.
If baby molars are lost prematurely due to cavities, the adult six-year molars can tip forward and trap the premolars under the gums. In fact, some baby teeth exfoliate as late as 11 years of age! A child with untreated cavities will become an adolescent with cavities affecting their permanent teeth. This is a fact!
Does my child have to take dental X-Rays as part of the 1st visit?
While radiographs (X-Rays) allow us to see in between teeth, we DO NOT encourage the taking of them unless it is deemed absolutely necessary. Children’s facial and jaw bones grow rapidly — these cells are more susceptible to radiation damage. Our doctors follow the recommendations set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
When the time arises, we will discuss it with you, providing the details you need to make an informed decision for your child.
Do you offer X-Ray alternatives?
Yes! We proudly offer CariVu, an X-Ray alternative that uses light technology (transillumination). With the help of a wand like pen. CariVu is completely painless, very comfortable for children and a proven diagnostic tool to minimize a child’s cumulative radiation dose.
The image at the link below is a typical image taken with a CariVu camera. The dark areas between the teeth clearly demonstrate what a cavity looks like. You can learn more by visiting their website click here.
Can I be in the room with my child?
We welcome parents to share their child’s first dental experience together. When the parent encourages the patient to open and allow for the exam, the child is more willing to do so. There are a few instances when a child would do better without the parent. If we feel this will benefit the child and you agree, our doctors and hygienist will review this in advance with you.
Do I need to bring the old records?
There are rare instances that we ask parents to forward previous dental records. If X-Rays were taken at another office less than a year ago, we encourage that you forward them to our office so that we can minimize your child’s exposure to radiation. However, since a child’s mouth is always changing and teeth exfoliating as they grow, you should not spend too much effort trying to retrieve old records.
Our comprehensive exams are very detailed and our doctors can create treatment plans that reflect an up-to-date examination.
Book your appointment here.
Our scheduling coordinator will work on your request and contact you to confirm your appointment. We are excited to welcome you to SPD family!