Your Child’s First Pediatric Dentist Visit
- November 12th, 2018
- Info & Tips
The first time your child experiences going to the dentist is a crucially important time for them. It will create associations, good or bad, that will stay with them for a lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to take every opportunity to bolster positive experiences at the dentist. We at Smile Town do exactly that. We help to create a learning experience leading to healthy dental care habits for life! Our office is full of colourful toys so that you and your child will be in awe of your surroundings. Our specially trained staff will also leave you with lasting impressions.
What can you and your child do to prepare for their first visit?
To make this a positive visit with learning potential, you can prepare your child by visiting your local library to research positive and informative stories on visits to the dentist. Make sure you talk about how they are feeling and any anxiety they may have concerning the visit.
Help your child develop a healthy can-do attitude towards dental care. Teach them how to brush their own teeth, so they will make a good first impression during their first trip.
In preparation for this first dental visit, it is a good idea to bring a pen and paper for any questions that may arise. You can direct these to our receptionist, hygienist or dentist as our team are all focused on children’s dental care.
How does a pediatric dentist differ from a regular dentist?
Pediatric dentists have two additional years of study relative to children’s dental requirements. We treat your child from infancy to their teenage years. Our expertise is in child behaviour, children’s physical growth and development and the overall treatment and management of their developing teeth. In fact, our whole office is decorated with children in mind. It is important to see a pediatric dentist if your child has special needs. We at Smile Town offer sedation and behaviour management and run a special dental care program for children with autism.
Concerns About Dental Costs?
The health of your child’s teeth is very important, and dental costs can be expensive. If you are having trouble meeting dental costs, Ontario has a government program that can potentially provide free treatment for children under 17. To determine whether your child qualifies for the Healthy Smiles Program, click here for detailed information.
Another consideration for you as a parent is to make sure your child has proper insurance coverage. In some instances, you can simultaneously claim for insurance, alongside your eligibility for the Healthy Smiles Program.
When should your child first visit the dentist?
There is a general consensus among pediatric dentists that children should visit the dentist for the first time at one year of age, or six months after the appearance of their first tooth. To keep on top of your child’s care, we will request and set up appointments every six months, to monitor the growth of your child’s teeth and to help develop trust between our team and your child.
What To Expect On Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Parents should be aware that they will be asked to complete medical and health information forms during your first visit. We advise that you come prepared with the necessary information. If you need further clarification, give Smile Town’s receptionist a call before your appointment. Our team is happy to help!
We ask parents to sit in the dental chair and hold your child on your lap at first. When your child is comfortable, our dentist sees them one-on-one, to develop that important budding friendship. There will be no intrusive treatment on your first visit. It will be short and definitely friendly. Smile Town’s dentist will examine your child’s teeth for decay, assess your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with their gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If necessary, our dentist or hygienist will clean any existing teeth and determine if there is a need for fluoride.
The following is a full list of what our dentist may discuss with you at an initial consultation:
Good oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums, the prevention of cavities, aspects of fluoride treatment, oral habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and lip sucking, your child’s developmental milestones, teething, proper nutrition and setting up a schedule for dental check-up visits.
At the conclusion of this first visit, the dentist will answer any questions you may have.
When should my child begin having dental x-rays?
We can x-ray as children young as two years old. We have a special “spaceship” that circulates the child’s head while they are distracted by an iPad. This newest technology emits less radiation than other models.
Children can develop dental problems at a very young age. There is a risk of severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night. The same threat exists when they nurse continuously from the breast.
In instances of a cleft palate and/or lip, children are more prone to dental problems and need earlier monitoring.
Reading through the above information will prepare both you and your child for your all-important first visit to Smile Town. Reading books to prepare your child and instructions on proper teeth cleaning are only the beginning. Researching what information you will need concerning initial forms and insurance, as well as government allowances will help you as a parent relax and become empowered. This relaxed and confident behaviour will transfer to your child. When they see parents or guardians and our healthcare staff at ease, children will relax and look forward to their trips to the dentist!
Call us to make an appointment at (866) 533-9440 or visit us online.