Your First Visit with the Pediatric Dentist
At what age should my child first visit the dentist?
“First visit by first birthday” is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Early visits to the dentist help to promote healthy oral habits and establish positive dental experiences for your child.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
You can download forms for your first visit here.
Please bring the following to your first appointment:
1. Your completed forms
2. A photo I.D.
3. Your insurance card
4. Your referral, if you have been referred by another doctor and your first visit is a consultation.
What do I tell my child about their dental visit?
Talk to your child about their dental visit in a positive way. Tell them the dentist is going to count and clean their teeth and may take pictures of their teeth. Do not tell them: “it won’t hurt”. This only gives them the idea that it could hurt. Also avoid using the words “shot”, “needle”, “pull” or “drill”.
Please remember that your child has no reason to fear the dentist unless they perceive fear from you!
What will happen during my child’s first visit?
During the exam, the dentist will look at your child’s teeth and gums and check for decay. They will also evaluate your child’s bite and jaw alignment and evaluate spacing for permanent teeth. Any of your questions or concerns will be answered at this time.
In addition to the examination, digital radiographs (x-rays) may be taken to detect hidden tooth decay and to view the placement of permanent teeth. Prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning, will also be performed. Oral hygiene instruction, including brushing and flossing will be given and ways to avoid cavities will be discussed.
Finally, fluoride will be applied to your child’s teeth to help maintain the enamel in its strongest condition. If any problems are detected during the examination, the dentist will also discuss their proposed plan of treatment with you.
FOR THIS REASON IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE NATURAL PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN BE PRESENT AT THEIR CHILD’S FIRST APPOINTMENT.
Your signature will also be required on your child’s future treatment plan and before consecutive visits can be scheduled.
**It is very important that you do not leave our office during your child’s appointment. Situations may arise when we need to speak to you about their treatment plan or if there is an emergency situation.
May I stay with my child during their visit?
We encourage parents or legal guardians to accompany their child during their initial examination or consultation. This allows us to discuss the child’s oral health, provide preventive tips and answer any questions or concerns the parent may have.
If further treatment is required, the dentist and the parent will decide whether it is appropriate for the parent to be in the room with their child.
At any time a parent accompanies their child, we ask that they be a “silent observer” and stand by quietly in order to give our staff the opportunity to establish communication and trust directly with their child.
For the safety and privacy of all patients, we request that other children who are not being treated always remain in the reception area with a supervising adult.