When & What Is My Child’s First “Regular” Visit?
The first “regular” dental visit should be no later than your child’s first birthday. If your child does not have any teeth by age one or has very few of them, give us a call to find out what the appropriate age for the first dental visit should be. We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. We may clean your child’s teeth and apply fluoride varnish to help protect the teeth against decay. When your child is old enough to cooperate, digital X-rays will be taken to check for cavities not visible to the naked eye, look for missing or extra teeth, rule out any oral pathology, and check on the development and eruption status of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
How Should I Prepare My Child For This First Visit?
The most important thing you can do is to “schedule for success.” Our office always schedules new patient exams in the morning. Young children tend to do better early in the day. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon a toddler can get pretty tired and cranky, especially if he or she did not have a nap that day. Morning appointments also allow Dr. Aka and the staff to take their time and establish rapport with you and your child while leaving enough time for you to ask as many questions as you may have.
In the days and weeks leading up to this first visit, sit down with your child and read books about going to the dentist, what a dentist does, and what to expect. There are also animated kids’ videos available that can be useful in preparing your child to see the dentist.
Sometimes a child will behave better when accompanied by a specific parent or guardian. We see this all the time. If this is the case with your child, please make sure that that this parent or guardian brings the child to the appointment. Schedule for success!
As is the case with all health care offices, there are multiple forms to complete prior to your arrival. For your convenience, most of them are available online (See Patient Registration). Please complete them ahead of time, otherwise, filling out the forms on-site will use up half of your child’s 60-minute appointment time and may necessitate rescheduling.