At what age should my child first visit?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first visit should be by his/her FIRST BIRTHDAY. In fact, we believe starting early builds the foundation for a lifetime of good dental health and helps develop a comfortable, trusting relationship between the child and the Germantown BigSmile Team.
What exactly will happen at my child’s first visit?
|1.||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.|
|2.||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.|
|3.||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).|
|4.||Since every child’s situation is different, what takes place after the initial examination is determined by the immediate needs and behavior of your child at the time of the visit. Sometimes the teeth will be cleaned, however, if necessary the cleaning is deferred to a later visit when your child is ready. The most important outcome of this visit is for your child to have a positive experience.|
How do we accomplish what needs to be done at the first visit?
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.”
What if my child cries during the appointment?
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.
How should I prepare my child for his/her visit?
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.
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I love my smile more and more everyday! Thank you Dr. Robles!
19847 Century Blvd, Lobby B, Ste 215
Germantown, MD 20874