One of the best parts of general dentistry is the fact that we get to see patients of all ages, and that allows us to meet entire families of patients from great-grandparents to small children. And while most of our older patients have been receiving dental care for decades, we are often the first experience with dental care for our youngest patients. Those first visits for little kids are always a lot of fun, but it is crucial that when we are introducing young patients to their dental health, we are doing it the right way.
A Kid-Friendly Environment
We have found the best way to set your child up for success at the dental office is to provide a great example for them. One way to do this is to not have your child's first visit to our office be her first cleaning and exam, but rather just simply accompanying you or her older siblings to their appointments. Having your son or daughter watch you or his or her older siblings get their teeth cleaned and checked is a great way to show that this is a safe, even fun experience that the whole family enjoys. This way, when it is time for your son to have his very first cleaning, he already knows what to expect, and he isn't worried or frightened by the thought of it. If he can develop a relationship with the dentist and the hygienist before his first appointment, then he won't be as apprehensive as he may be when meeting a stranger.
Your Child's First Visit
Once your child is about 3 years old, she now has all of her primary (baby) teeth. That is about the age when we recommend kids come for their first appointments. At these appointments we can examine the teeth to check for any cavities or signs of disease, clean the teeth, and discuss healthy habits such as twice-daily brushing and avoiding the foods and drinks that cause cavities. Sometimes we might take x-rays to be able to check for problems that we may not be able to detect during our exams. We also evaluate the way your child's teeth come together, and we might recommend an appointment with an orthodontist if braces are in your kid's future.
If we do find cavities, we can almost always restore those teeth here at our office, no matter the age of the child. In some cases, such as those cases in which several lengthy visits are required, or if a child needs to be sedated, it makes more sense to send the patient to pediatric dentist. We are happy to work with several wonderful pediatric dentists that will take great care of your child in the case that more advanced work is necessary.
Call Today to Schedule Your Child’s Exam
Do you have a youngster at home that hasn't seen the dentist in a while, or needs a first-ever cleaning? Maybe you have an older kid that is ready to graduate from the pediatric dentist and sit in a chair more his size! Either way, we would be happy to see your child, even if it is just to tag along with a family member at one of their appointments. Please call (301) 690-9720 to schedule an appointment for your child today!