The first visit to the dentist should be a positive and educational experience for both you and your child. At William Chan and Associates, we strive to make each appointment a joy to attend while also making oral hygiene fun. This initial introduction is the foundation for a lifetime of quality dental care, and we want to make it feel as special and as comfortable as possible. Our skilled pediatric dentists have been practicing at this office for 30 years, and we have seen many of our young patients grow up and begin to bring their children to us.
We recommend that you set up your first appointment when your child is one year old, as the front four teeth will typically have erupted by this age. There are many techniques we use to help your child feel at ease, and we will be happy to work with you and your young one to make the experience as successful as possible.
Personal Care and Attention
When you bring your child in, we will welcome both of you to come back to a private treatment room where we can provide attentive, personalized service. The quiet space helps to ensure that should another child express discomfort, there is minimal risk the distress could be heard by and transmitted to your little one. We will carefully explain each step of the process and show your child any dental technology or equipment we plan to use before we use it. We call this our “show-and-tell” technique. Furthermore, the child can always stop the dentist if he or she feels any discomfort. Exercising control and playing a part in the process often encourages cooperation.
The First Visit
At age one we mainly want to acclimate the child to a new environment and establish a positive association with visiting the dentist. We will also check for signs of developing bad habits such as drinking bottled (cow) milk, sleeping with pacifiers, or thumb sucking. This continues at the second appointment, which should occur six months after the first. We will also instruct you in how to brush and floss your child’s teeth as well as how often to do so.
At age two we can provide a full cleaning. At this point we will gently introduce your child to the sensation of having certain dental tools in the mouth while remaining communicative with you and your child throughout the process. If your child is distressed, we offer nitrous oxide, a pedi-wrap cloth, and other gentle calming options to help them feel more relaxed. Our emphasis on preventive care can limit the risk of developing caries (cavities) and other damage, treatment of which can feel a little scary to children at first. To help your child maintain a healthy smile, you should brush their teeth three times daily and floss once daily. We will be happy to show you how during your visit.
You may have many questions about what to expect during the first dental visit for your child, and we’re happy to help. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists.