Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her first birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.
Please discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. One way to convey good feelings to your child about dental visits is to remind them that going to the dentist is a sign that they are “growing up”. Using appropriate phrases is the key to a successful appointment. For example, please do not tell your child that the “dentist will not hurt” as this may never have entered his/her mind. Also, do not use words like “needle, shot, pull, drill,” or any other words suggesting unpleasantness. Even adults can get anxious when such words are used! Our highly specialized staff makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. They will be able to explain what to expect each step of the appointment to your child in terms he/she can understand in an environment designed especially for them.
For children under age 3, we will generally bring you and your child back to our consultation room so that we may discuss your child’s dietary and oral hygiene habits, health and dental history. We like to keep these appointments fairly simple to allow your child to become familiar with a dental environment. We will perform a “lap exam”, where your child will sit or lay in your lap so that we may “count” the teeth together and examine the oral cavity.
If your child is 3 or older, we ask that you allow one of our friendly, highly specialized staff to accompany your child through the dental visit. Dr. Doan strongly believes that this allows her and her staff to focus on building a relationship with your child and making the appointment specifically about your child. Her goal is to win the confidence of your child, which can be accomplished when her undivided attention is on your child. After the appointment, we will review the findings with you and allow the candid discussion of any treatment needs, any questions you may have in our consultation room. Parents are always welcome to come back.