The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child's first dental visit should be within six months of the eruption of their first tooth! For most children, that is around age 1.
Why should I bring my baby to the dentist? They don't have all their teeth in yet!
Great Question! It is important to establish a comfortable "dental home" for your child as early as possible. This ensures a good relationship is established with the child and doctor through their many different stages of growth and development. It also allows the new patient to become accostomed to the dental atmosphere in a fun and positive way.
Early visits also give parents the opportunity to establish a relationship with a pediatric dentist, and provides a time to ask questions and discuss oral health issues and preventative measures that may help prevent dental problems such as cavities, gingivitis or dental emergencies.
Your child's first dental visit will consist of a Comprehensive Exam/ Oral evaluation by Dr. Makram. The doctor determines if any radiographs would be necessary for the full evaluation. For younger children age 3 and under, the need for dental xrays is determined by the doctor. For older children, a few xrays are usually taken to determine the health of the teeth and supporting bone structures. In our office, we use digital xrays, which greatly reduces the amount of radiation used to produce these images.
Your child will also have a gentle cleaning and fluoride treatment completed with our experienced and caring staff. We make your child's first visit as easy as possible to ensure that it is a positive experience for both child and parent.
Pediatric Dental "Terminology"
In an effort to make your child as comfortable as possible we avoid certain "bad" or "negative" terms in a pediatric dental setting. We ask that parents also refrain from using such terms, as it may cause unecessary anxiety or stress. Some of these terms are: shot, needle, poke, hurt, sharp, pulling teeth, etc.
Instead we use child friendly terms for certain instruments and procedures such as:
"tooth counter" - for the dental explorer
"Counting teeth" - for dental exam
"taking pictures"- for xrays
"sleepy medicine or sleepy juice"- for local anesthesia
"Tooth wiggling" -for an extraction
"Tooth paint" -for sealant or filling
We encourage that parents use this more positive terminology with younger patients as such a simple change in vocabulary helps us make your child's experience a more comfortable one.