At what age should a child first visit the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Recommends that a child’s first “regular” dental visit should be no later than their first birthday.
It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at 6 to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care right from the beginning. At SOCO Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, the first few visits to our office are very important and our goal is to make it a positive first impression!
Free Peak-a-Boo Visit for Children under 2
The goal of this complimentary first visit is for our youngest patients to get acclimated to the environment of a dental office. We will focus on parent education and introducing your child to Dr. Billy and our team. Your child will leave with a positive experience and a toy to take home!
It's All How You Word it!
Research shows that sometimes these phrases may create stress prior to appointments and may cause unnecessary apprehension. Instead, you may say that the “dentist may take special pictures of your teeth using x-ray vision like the superheroes” or “the dentist will count how many teeth you have” or “the dentist will brush your teeth”
Preparing for the First Visit
Please thoroughly complete and submit/bring the patient’s medical history form and insurance information. It will save you time when you arrive at our office for your visit. If you have health insurance cards, please bring them.
If your child is prescribed medications, you may choose to bring the prescription with you to show it to the doctor. When transferring from another dental practice, we will request all prior dental records be sent to us with your approval.
We encourage you make visiting the dentist an adventure. At home, please avoid phrases such as “it is not going to hurt”, “you will not get a shot” etc.
Coordinating Your Child’s First Appointment
For young children (4 years or younger), it is HIGHLY recommended the visit take place in the morning time. Children are more rested and more cooperative as opposed to during their nap time or after daycare or school. We have seen this makes a huge difference in your child’s ability to cooperate. We are happy to provide excuse forms for work and school to accommodate this schedule.
What To Expect
Upon entering the office, you will be greeted immediately by our friendly staff. We will take you on a tour of the office, allowing your child to become familiar with their surroundings. We will begin by gaining and establishing trust with your child using behavior management strategies such as “Tell-Show-Do” and “Positive Reinforcement.” Your child will be shown all of the instruments we will be using today and how they work, often demonstrating their use on the child’s hand first.
You will meet Dr. Billy, who will perform a comprehensive exam. Your child’s age and comfort level will help determine the length of their appointment. Younger, more nervous children may sit in their parents lap for their cleaning and exam. Our goal is to establish the dentist’s office as a safe, friendly place. Depending on your child’s specific needs, we may also take images using our low-dose digital imaging system.
Dr. Billy will review all of the findings with you, discuss the cavity process, diet, hygiene, thumb-sucking, pacifier use, fluoride exposure and answer any questions you may have. Your involvement in your child’s health care is extremely important to us. You and the doctor will work together to create a specific treatment or preventative plan that is best for your family.