According to AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) guidelines, infants should initially visit the pediatric dentist around the time of their first birthday or first tooth eruption whichever is first. First visits can be stressful for parents, especially for parents who have dental phobias themselves.
It is advisable for parents to communicate positive messages about dental visits (especially the first one), and to help the child feel as happy as possible about visiting the dentist. Dr. de la Torre does not recommend preparing your child through books, video or online information.
How can I prepare for my child’s first dental visit?
- Do not feed your child right before their visit.
- Bring their favorite video.
- Reassure your child that we will tell them everything first.
- Dr. Dan will use tell show do technique to teach your child about dentistry.
What will happen during the first visit?
There are several goals for the first dental visit. First, Dr. Dan and your child need to get properly acquainted. At this time, Dr. Dan monitors tooth and jaw development to get an idea of your child’s overall health history. Next, Dr. Dan evaluates the health of the existing teeth and gums. Additionally, Dr. Dan answers questions and advises parents on how to implement a good oral care regimen. We will use "tell show do" during the visit when developmentally appropriate; your child will become Dr. Dan's dentist.
The following sequence of events is typical of an initial “well baby checkup”:
- Our staff will greet your child.
- The child's health history will be reviewed (this may include questionnaires).
- Dr. Dan will address parental questions and concerns.
- Additional questions will be asked, generally pertaining to the child’s oral habits, pacifier use, general development, tooth alignment, tooth development, and diet.
- Dr. Dan will provide information on good oral care, how to prevent oral injury, fluoride intake, and sippy cup use.
- Proper brushing and flossing demonstrations will be provided.
- Your child’s oral health will be described in detail, and specific recommendations will be made. Recommendations usually relate to oral habits, appropriate toothpastes and toothbrushes for your child, orthodontically correct pacifiers, and diet.
- Dr. Dan will detail which teeth may appear in the following months.
- Dr. Dan will outline an appointment schedule and describe what will take place during the next appointment.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s first dental visit, please contact Dr. Dan.
Dr. Daniel de la Torre
is a member of the American Dental Association, The American
Academy Pediatric Dentistry, International Association for Orthodontics
(IAO), the American Association for Functional Orthodontics (AAFO) and
the American Orthodontic Society