The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Dental Association, and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
Prior to their appointment, tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor who will help your teeth stay healthy. Talk about the visit in a positive, age appropriate way, as you would about any new experience. Avoid projecting any negative feelings you may have regarding a dental visit, being careful to avoid negative words. A visit to our office can be a very pleasant adventure for both you and your child.
On the first visit, your child will be introduced to our dental team. Your child will be shown all the instruments the Doctor will use on the first visit (like our tiny mouth mirror and tooth counter). You and your child will also learn the importance of preventive home care skills to help your child’s teeth stay healthy and strong.
The Doctor will then gently examine your child’s teeth, gums and the remainder of the mouth. If your child is younger, we may have them sit in a parent’s lap facing the parent and have them lay back towards the dentist. We call this a “lap exam” and this can help the dentist do a thorough exam quickly.
Depending on the age and comfort level of your child, a thorough cleaning of the teeth and a fluoride treatment might be completed. X-rays will only be taken only if necessary and usually beginning around age 4. The x-rays help us to detect tooth decay between teeth and also assess development of the permanent teeth. A developmental check is always completed and referrals are made to a local orthodontist when necessary. If additional treatment needs, such as fillings, are diagnosed, additional appointments will be scheduled.
At Tennyson Pediatric Dentistry, we recognize that all children are unique and have individual sensitivities. If your child is very apprehensive, we may skip certain aspects of an appointment. We want our patients to leave our office with a smile on their face. Pleasant visits and encouraging words from our team (as well as from caregivers) help a child establish trust and confidence that will last a lifetime.