What to Expect
For most patients with routine dental needs, the first visit will include an exam and education with the dentists and clinical staff plus a dental cleaning, x-rays and fluoride treatment as appropriate based on the age of the child. We will review diet and oral hygiene recommendations and any treatment needs for your child. Please feel free to log on to www.mychildrensteeth.org which is a wonderful consumer site for pediatric oral health care information and recommendations.
Most new patients are seen in an open clinic setting with other children present. This allows younger children to model good behavior by observing older children, allows siblings to stay together, and creates a less intimidating environment for anxious children.
Our doctors and staff are highly skilled at communicating with children of all ages and will help guide your child as age appropriate.
- For younger children there is lots of “tell-show-do” to help kids become comfortable with the unfamiliar sights, sounds and sensations at the dental office. Parents are more highly involved during these visits and the extent of treatment will be determined by the child’s level of cooperation and the parents’ desires.
- With older children and teens, the staff will help give the patients the skills to take responsibility for their own oral care at home with less parent involvement.
First visits generally last about 30-40 minutes and are scheduled throughout the day. For patients with immediate dental problems such as pain, the dentist may focus on this problem and postpone routine care such as dental cleaning for a later visit.
Help set your child up for a successful appointment by speaking positively about the upcoming dental visit. Children are perceptive and will know if mom and dad think the appointment is a fun, new experience or something to fear. You are always welcome to accompany your child into the treatment areas in our office, especially for their initial visits.
- For toddlers and preschoolers, parents are almost always present.
- Older children and those who have been to the dentist several times may prefer to have parents stay in the waiting area.
- Some children will be more cooperative with our team if they come back for treatment alone. This allows the dentist and staff members to better build trust and rapport with the child one- on-one and often results in better child cooperation.
- Many parents in our practice come back routinely for their children’s dental check-ups, but allow kids to come back alone for treatment such as fillings.
This is always a decision made by parents, child and the dental team – parents are never excluded! Our team is comfortable either way. We do however request that children, not being seen that day, remain in the waiting room with a supervising adult.