We recognize that every child is unique. Pediatric dental offices are developed with that in mind. The purpose of the first visit is to establish a positive relationship with your child and to evaluate your child’s dental health. Our office has highly trained staff and a fun environment to make your child’s first visit comfortable and enjoyable. We will help your child learn about the dental visit, taking one step at a time so that he/she will not be as fearful. There are games, toys, books, and televisions to entertain your child at the office.
We encourage you to accompany your child/children throughout the visit, to see what we see inside the mouth, and to help your child/children through each appointment. The initial visit, which should last about an hour, consists of x-rays, a cleaning, a fluoride treatment, and an examination by the Doctor.
X-rays and Cleaning
If appropriate, we will take x-rays (pictures or radiographs) of your child’s teeth. X-rays are vital and essential in completely and properly diagnosing cavities and other dental problems. Without x-rays, certain serious dental conditions can and will be missed. We definitely limit your child’s exposure to the minimum amounts necessary to ensure a proper diagnosis.
Your child’s teeth will be cleaned and then protected with a topical fluoride application. By using various techniques such as “Tell-Show-Do” and age appropriate words (such as “tooth tickler” and “Mr. Thirsty”), we can help your child understand and feel more comfortable during the cleaning.
Examination of the Teeth & Oral Cavity
Finally, Dr Patti or Dr Ana will examine (count) your child’s teeth. Using a “tooth counter” and the “baby tooth mirror,” we’ll show both your child and yourself all the discoveries that we find. Appropriate oral hygiene and diet instructions will be given, specific to your child’s needs. Then, discovering the “prize cabinet” is always a fun part of the visit. We reward your child for trying and doing his/her best!
Parents are welcome to either relax in the reception room or accompany their child into the operatory area. We do need to have a parent or legal guardian in the operatory for all examination and emergency evaluation appointments in order to get your written, informed consent for any other needed treatment for your child.
During the examination appointment, we will examine the erupted teeth for cavities, the gums for infection, and the other mouth tissues for any abnormalities. We will evaluate the way your child’s teeth come together (the occlusion) and check for sufficient room for the permanent teeth to erupt. We will evaluate the effects of any childhood habits such as thumb sucking, use of a pacifier, or prolonged use of the baby bottle. At the end of the visit, we will thoroughly discuss all of our findings, the necessary treatment plan, as well as all dental issues pertinent to protecting the well-being of your child’s oral health.
Many parents want to know how often their child needs to come to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental diseases. At each check-up, we will review your child’s growth and development and have recommendations specific to your child’s age and level of development such as the need for orthodontics.