Your Child's First Visit
It is our goal to make your child's first visit to us as stress-free as possible. We want you, the parent, to be with your child in the exam room for their visit. It is important that we are able to take the time to:
- Meet your child
- Evaluate your child's level of cooperative development
- Review your child's previous medical and dental history and experiences
- Review home preventive care
- And finally, examine your child's teeth and oral cavity for any concerns
3 and Younger: Kids under 3 are usually allowed to sit on the parents lap for their dental exam. It is not uncommon for very young children to be apprehensive about allowing a strange person to get that close to them and put a mirror in their mouth. The parent's lap is very reassuring place for them. Even if they cry for the exam, as soon as we are finished they are in a good position for mom or dad to grab them up into a good hug and cuddle, thus reassuring them that everything is OK. The first visit for a child age 3 or younger is normally just an easy examination.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child's first
visit is scheduled when their first teeth erupt or by their first birthday at
the latest. During this first visit we can offer you help and information that
can allow you to raise cavity-free kids.
4 and Older : The first visit is tailored to their previous experience and their reason for being here. If it is the first visit to a dentist, usually an examination is done, and then, based upon the needs of the child, x-rays may be taken if needed to determine if there are any hidden problems. We do not usually take x-rays on younger children during the first visit if it will be too difficult for them. We want that visit to be a good experience. If your child is not apprehensive we can also clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride. Cleanings and topical fluoride treatment become an integral part of the preventive care for your child, but it is important they are introduced to it appropriately so it becomes something that they enjoy in the future.
Apprehensive Kids: If your child is being referred to us because they are scared, unable to cooperate for treatment, or they are very young and have a lot of treatment needs, then the first visit, regardless of age, will probably just be an examination. This allows your child to have an easy visit without causing any more stress and it allows us to evaluate your child's treatment and behavioral needs to arrive at an individualized plan suited just for them.
Summary : We want your child's first experience in our office to be as easy and comfortable for them as possible. We tailor that visit to the age, level of development, cooperation level and previous experiences of your child. If you ever have questions please simply ask. We will take the time necessay to make your visit a success.
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