Child’s First Visit
It’s your child’s first visit to the dentist! What a milestone; time to get the camera queued up and ready to document this awesome event. Good job for taking this important step in your child’s dental and overall health! Playhouse Dental is centered around preventative and conservative dentistry. During this visit we will do a comprehensive exam of your baby’s teeth, jaws, head and neck to make sure all are developing normally and any issues are addressed. An important aspect of this visit is that on education. Playhouse Dental is centered around preventative and conservative dentistry. Each visit is an opportunity to teach you and your child, and this visit is no exception. We will give all the information you need to know as a parent including what to expect as your child gets more teeth, how to care for your child’s teeth at home, nutritional counseling, and how to prevent future issues. As your baby grows, regular dental visits every six months will be just as important as regular visits to the pediatrician.
When should I bring my child in for the first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and several authorities in dentistry (The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, and the American Dental Association) all recommend that children should see a dentist after their first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday (in other words: “first tooth, first birthday.”) Why so early? Simply put, as soon as the first tooth appears, your child can get cavities. The first visit to the dentist can set the stage for a lifetime of good oral health.
Can’t I just bring my baby to my dentist? Why a Pediatric Dentist?
It is a wide misconception that children are just small adults. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Children begin losing their primary set of teeth beginning around 6 years old and this process continues for several years, until they are teenagers. Pediatric dentist understand the larger picture and are able to handle your child’s teeth at each dental stage in a way that will set them up for optimal dental health as an adult. Treatment decisions are dictated not only by what is needed to fix the problem, but takes into account the dental developmental age of the child as well. Many things come up throughout these years aside from cavities, including orthodontics (braces),bad habits from infancy that need to be stopped, wisdom teeth problems, and so forth. Think of Pediatric dentists as a quarterback in dealing with the care of your child’s teeth! Pediatric dentists have received additional years of training following dental school (in the form of an accredited specialty residency program) and limits his or her practice to treating children only. They are primary and specialty providers for patients from birth through college. Additionally they are uniquey trained to properly care for patients with special health care needs. It is not atypical for children to grow within the pediatric practice through their college and adult years! Aside from this, Pediatric specialists are qualified to treat your child in special ways that make them feel comfortable, even if they don’t cooperate as planned. Finally, pediatric dentists use child-appropriate equipment and have designed their offices with only children in mind.
What will happen at the first visit?
Our skilled and friendly pediatric dentist is prepared to make your chid’s first visit an enjoyable experience. As many dental problems and cavities are caused by multiple factors this visit with be very important to gather much information so we get to know your child and his or her potential risk for future problems. Thus we will take our time to do a full review of your baby’s health, social and dental history. At this time we will take the opportunity to do oral hygiene instruction and nutritional counseling. An assessment of the current state of your child’s mouth and any dental needs will be completed with a comprehensive visual exam. Finally, if necessary, you can expect your baby’s first dental cleaning and a fluoride treatment.
Will my child cooperate and what can I do to prepare?
We understand that, as a parent, the first visit may cause you some anxiety - we get it! Our goal at Playhouse Dental is to make each visit enjoyable and positive. From the moment you and your child enter our office you will feel welcomed and comfortable. We suggest staying positive and avoid using words that may cause unneeded stress or fear such as "shot" or “drill.” Our team uses pleasant, child-friendly and non-frightening words to describe our equipment and anything we do during each visit. Reassure your child that the friendly doctor and staff will explain everything and answer all of his or her questions. Additionally we view you as a teammate creating this wonderful experience. Your help in preparing your child for their first appointment is important. We can provide you with many resources in the form of books and videos to help you prepare for this important first visit. You can also view Dr. Chin’s blog post on the topic.