Your first visit

Your first visit

Their oral health matters

Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. Early childhood tooth decay can develop quickly, progressing from the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth into the softer, inner dentin in 6 months or less. It’s important to set up strong oral health habits early to ensure a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles for your child.

Dr. Echandy and the entire staff at Germantownbigsmiles® have the experience and passion in caring for the oral health care of little ones at home. With more than 15 years of experience, we provide reliable and personalized treatment tailored to the needs of each child and their family

Pediatric Dentistry in Germantown, MD

What exactly will happen at my child’s first visit?

You will complete a medical and dental health questionnaire. What is your family’s dental history? Does your child have any previous dental issues? Are there any emotional and behavioral needs unique to your child? We will review all of this information so that we can personalize our approach to examining your child.

Since our emphasis is on preventive care, before we examine your child, Our Smile Team will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to both you and your child. We will also discuss good eating and drinking habits so that dental decay can be prevented and we will determine whether fluoride supplementation is necessary.

We will perform a thorough oral-facial examination. This means that we will not only examine your child’s teeth for caries (cavities), fractures, abnormal wear, and developmental defects, but we will also do a complete check of the soft-tissue, including gingiva (gums) and all oral structures for any developmental defects or pathology. We will also do an oral-facial growth analysis (an analysis of the bite).

We will perform a thorough oral-facial examination. This means that we will not only examine your child’s teeth for caries (cavities), fractures, abnormal wear, and developmental defects, but we will also do a complete check of the soft-tissue, including gingiva (gums) and all oral structures for any developmental defects or pathology. We will also do an oral-facial growth analysis (an analysis of the bite).

A very young child will usually be examined while sitting on a parent’s lap, although some will gladly sit on the “big chair” while mom or dad sit nearby. We will calmly show the “tooth counter” and “magic mirror” before using these instruments to examine the teeth and oral structures. If a cleaning is performed, your child will have an opportunity to feel the “tickle spin cup” on his finger prior to his/her teeth being cleaned.

After the visit, your child will be rewarded with a new toothbrush, some stickers, and a special prize for his “goody bag.”

Examining your child’s mouth is a necessity, just like a visit to the pediatrician. When a young child cries at the pediatrician, it is not because he/she is uncomfortable it is because he/she does not have an understanding of what is taking place. We stress the importance of making your child comfortable during their first visit by explaining everything we do, but sometimes despite our best efforts and your help, a child will cry. Crying is not a deterrent to our examination and doesn’t mean a child will always be afraid to go to the dentist; it’s how the situation is handled that can set the stage for future positive experiences.

Younger children are better rested in the morning, so make appointments as early in the day as possible. When discussing the appointment, avoid using phrases that might cause unnecessary anxiety, such as “the dentist won’t hurt you,” and “there is nothing to be afraid of.” Reinforce the positive experience of visiting a dentist – talk about the dentist counting your teeth, brushing them, and giving you stickers and a toy.