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Your Child's First Dental Visit

December 4, 2012

  Pictured Above is Dr. Allen and her assistant Heather working with a child whose enjoying Frozen while their teeth are cleaned.
 
 
 
As parents, we want to insure that our children are receiving the best health care possible.  Their first dental visit is an important step to life long oral health.
 
When should my child first see a dentist, and why?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child's first visit to the dentist take place within six months of the eruption of their first tooth.  By catching potential problems early (tooth decay, gum issues, irritations from teething or prolonged thumb/pacifier sucking) we can provide or recommend preventive treatment. 
 

How do I prepare my child and myself for their first visit?

One of the best things parents can do is prepare their child by explaining what will happen at their first visit.  There are many children's books that can be very helpful to lessen any potential anxiety.  As a parent it is essential that you do not convey any anxieties of your own, but  rather make the visit something your child looks forward to. Prepare for any number of reactions.  Some children may fuss, complain, not want to sit still, or even cry in fear.  However, many kids enjoy their visit and do not have a negative reaction. Please bring a complete medical history record for your child for their dental file including any a list of any medications they may be taking. We strive to have children enjoy their visits and set a positive tone toward dental health for the rest of their lives.
 

What will happen during their first visit?

We want our office to be a place where your child feels comfortable.  Dr Allen and her assistant, Heather, will do their best to make your child feel welcomed, comfortable, and excited about their first visit.  As a parent, reassure your child that the dental office is not scary and that they do not need to be afraid.  We highly recommend scheduling their first visit earlier in the morning, when they are more alert and refreshed. Typically the first visit lasts about 30 minutes. Dr Allen welcomes parents to accompany their child into the exam room during their first visit.  Dr Allen will be happy to answer any questions you or your child may have. We can even provide entertainment like movies to distract and delight your children.
 

Depending on a child's age the following will be done:
  • An examination of their teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues.

  • A gentle cleaning including removing any plaque, tartar build-up or stains and polishing of their teeth.

  • X-rays

  • A demonstration of proper home care

  • Nutritional counseling

  • An assessment of the need for fluoride

 

When should a child be seen after their first visit?

Children, like adults, should have their teeth cleaned and examined every six months.  Regular visits prevent the build up of tartar, plaque and stains; will help us catch any potential problems early; and will help familiarize your child to the dental setting to make future appointment even more fun.

 

Have more questions for Dr Allen?  Feel free to post them here or call the office at (860) 653-7596!
 
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