The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the pediatric dentist for the first time at about the time of their first birthday. To schedule your child’s first visit with Dr. Samuel Yee DDS, in Aliso Viejo, California, and for more information about pediatric dentistry, call Samuel Yee DDS INC at 949-831-3111.
Your child’s first dental appointment is extremely important, as it builds the foundation for much of their interaction with dentists in the future. It is important that you help your child develop positive associations with visiting the dentist. Our practice also does everything we can to help your child feel comfortable and safe at our practice.
Preparing for Your Child’s First Appointment
Here are some helpful tips to prepare your child to meet our dentist:
- Bring another adult with you for the first visit – having another adult can help you keep the child calm, and allows you to ask questions and receive any recommendations our dentist may have.
- Leave other children at home – other children can be a distraction and cause your infant to become fussy. Leaving other children at home makes your child’s first dental appointment less stressful for everyone involved.
- Avoid threatening language – do not use words that may scare your child, such as drills, needles, injections, and bleeding. Use positive language when speaking about dental treatment with children.
- Provide positive explanations – explaining that dentists “help keep your teeth healthy” is a much better idea that explaining that the dentist is checking for decay and “may have to drill the tooth if decay is found.”
- Explain what will happen – when your child knows what to expect, his or her anxiety can be greatly reduced. Age-appropriate books are also a great idea, and can help make visiting the dentist seem fun. Here are a few books you may find helpful:
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist; part of the “Dora the Explorer” series
- Going to the Dentist, by Anne Civardi
- Elmo Visits the Dentist; part of the “Sesame Street” series
What Happens During Your Child’s First Appointment
There are goals we hope to achieve during your child’s first appointment with our dentist.
- To introduce the dentist to your child, and to begin developing a trusting relationship.
- For the dentist to begin monitoring the tooth and jaw development, and to gain and understanding of the child’s overall health history.
- To evaluate the health of the existing teeth and gums.
- To answer questions and advise parents on how to care for their child’s teeth.
When you bring your child to our office, we will greet you and your child. We will review the child’s health history, and possibly your family’s health history. Our dentist will address your questions and concerns, and ask about the child’s oral habits (including pacifier use and diet). We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. During the examination, we will have you hold your child so that he or she can see you. We will make recommendations about oral hygiene, fluoride, how to prevent oral injury, and any other relevant habits or topics.
We will conclude by detailing which teeth you can expect to emerge in coming months, and outline an appointment schedule.
For more information about your child’s first dental appointment, and to schedule his or her visit to our dentist, contact our office today.