A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable and positive. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel.
Children are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a practice of using pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe your son or daughter’s first dental visit and treatment. We want everyone to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
What to expect
Once you have secured an appointment, our staff will send you a welcome packet with some important information. Also included in the packet are the Health History Form and a Patient Privacy Consent Form that need to be filled out before your appointment. Please kindly bring the completed forms with you on your child’s first visit.
Your first visit with the doctor includes:
1) A review of your child’s completed dental and medical history form
2) A thorough extra- and intra-oral examination
3) Dental radiographs (if indicated)
Dr. Tang, Dr. Bellamy, and our friendly staff welcome any questions you may have, and are always available to listen to your concerns. In some cases, a thorough dental cleaning and fluoride treatment will conclude the initial visit.
How to prepare your child for his or her first dental visit
One of the most reliable predictors for children’s dental anxiety is parental anxiety. To prepare your son or daughter for a positive experience at the dentist, we recommend that parents maintain a positive attitude.
If your child senses that you are at ease, he or she will relax as well. It is helpful to describe briefly to your child what to expect at the first visit. Avoid the use of words such as “pain,” “needles,” “scary,” “drills,” “hurt,” etc. If you are unsure about what to tell your child, our office staff will be happy to help!
Effective communication between the dentist and the child is paramount to building a good rapport. It requires focus on the part of both parties.
Although we welcome parents to the treatment area, children’s responses to their parents’ presence or absence can range from very beneficial to very detrimental. To ensure your child receives the best care possible, Dr. Tang and Dr. Bellamy will make recommendations about parental presence or absence.
Recommendations are made based on our treatment philosophies, the abilities of your child, and your specific desires.