Our office, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, 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.
The Dental Home is intended to provide a place other than the Emergency Room for parents.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
What You Can Do To Make Your Child’s First Visit Enjoyable and Positive
We take pride in providing your child a productive, enjoyable experience during their visits to our office. You can help prepare your child for their dental visits by:
- Discussing the visit using positive language and enthusiasm, making it exciting for your child. Make it a special occasion by allowing your child to choose his or her own clothes for the visit, and brushing especially well so that they can “show off” their teeth to the dentist.
- Explaining how the visit will work and what we will do during the visit. Let them know that we will simply count, brush and then take pictures of their teeth so your child will understand. Often you can find videos or books on the subject and expose them to your child.
- Not being anxious about your child’s appointment. Your child will know if you are not relaxed and at ease.
- Not using “scary” language when talking about your visit to the dentist, such as words like hurt, drill or shot. We work to use words that let the child know what we are doing, but they are less frightening.
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!
Your child will enjoy healthy dental habits when they use these Motivational Charts. Encourage regular brushing or help them break the thumbsucking habit.
Want something fun to do? Print one or all of the below Activity Sheets to see if you can conquer the Dental Crossword Puzzle, find all of the Hidden Toothbrushes, Unscramble the Dental Words, or find the Hidden Dental Words. We know you can do it!