Pediatric dentistry involves the practice and teaching of comprehensive oral health care for children from birth through adolescence. Our trained staff can aid your child in feeling comfortable during his/her first visit to our office.
Children who have their first dental experience when they are very young are likely to have a favorable outlook toward dental care throughout their life. You, as parents, play a very important role in getting your child started with a positive attitude toward dental care. Because dental visits are an integral part of your child’s total health program, we approach this visit as a natural part of your concern for optimal health maintenance. One of the most useful things you can do is to be completely natural and easy going when you tell your child about the appointment with the dentist. The less “fuss” the better. This approach will enable your child to view it as an opportunity to meet some new people who are interested in him/her and can help him/her to stay healthy. Our office is unique because we encourage parents to be with their child during his/her first dental visit. This allows for a positive, shared experience.
The purpose of this first visit is to establish a positive relationship with your child and evaluate your child’s dental health as a guide to future treatment. Usually during this first visit we:
- Examine the erupted teeth for cavities, the gums for infection and other mouth tissues for abnormalities.
- Evaluate occlusion-the way teeth come together.
- Check for sufficient room for the permanent teeth.
- Determine the effects of childhood habits (e.g., thumb-sucking, pacifiers, bottles, etc.)
- May take selected x-ray views of the mouth to locate decay, infections in the bone, position and location of un-erupted teeth.
- Will review preventive measures such as brushing, flossing, fluoride and diet.
At this or the next appointment, your child’s teeth are cleaned and a fluoride treatment may be given. It is at this time, after the x-rays (if taken) are interpreted and the complete examination completed, that your child’s oral health, proposed treatment options, number of appointments needed and your role in your child’s dental care program will be discussed. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Good general health depends in large part upon the development of good habits such as sensible eating and sleeping routines, exercise, recreation and the like. Dental health also depends upon good habits-including proper toothbrushing, regular visits to the dentist and avoidance of excessive sweets. We will have a chance to discuss these points further during your child’s appointments.
Because children grow quickly and changes in the mouth occur so rapidly, it is essential that the examination (including x-rays when needed), teeth cleaning and fluoride treatments be performed every 6 to 9 months. Help us maintain your child’s dental health by confirming your appointment when you receive our reminder that your child’s next visit is due.
You may choose to accompany your child to his/her filling appointment. When children are very young, we encourage you to be with your child. If you choose to be present, we suggest the following guidelines to improve chances of a positive outcome. Around five years of age, usually children do well without the parents being present. We encourage this and it allows the child to feel more mature. Please:
- In words your child can understand, we will tell your child what we are going to do, show them what we will use, and do the procedure in as non-threatening and comfortable a manner as possible.
- We are selective in our use of words. Please support us by NOT using negative words that are often used for dental care.
2. Be a silent observer – support your child with touches like hand-holding, etc.
- This allows us to maintain communication with your child.
- Children will normally listen to their parents instead of us and may not hear our guidance.
- You may give misleading or incorrect information.
3. If asked to leave, be ready to walk away, out of your child’s field of vision. You will be invited to sit back down when your child is, once again, actively helping.
- Many children will try to control the situation.
- “Acting out” is normal but can be unacceptable during fillings.
- We will continue to support your child at all times and you can observe (out of your child’s line of vision).
4. We have an imaginary “red button”. If at any time, you feel uncomfortable with the situation, please let us know. Similarly, we may determine it to be advisable to stop treatment. In either case, we will the situation and if necessary temporize the tooth(teeth) so that you and your child may leave, and return when we both feel it is advantageous.
We are confident that all will go well and hope these guidelines will prepare you for your upcoming appointment.