The most common question we have regarding children is about what age should they start going to the dentist. In a nutshell, your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her first birthday.
Drs. Gormley & Gutierrez, 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.
The most important part of your child’s first visit is to get to know us and become comfortable with the dental office. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. We will provide anticipatory guidance, discuss positive oral health habits and teach your son or daughter the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Our goal is to have our youngest patients feeling comfortable and happy about visiting the dentist!
For your child’s first visit to our office, we like to do a comprehensive examination. We will spend our time with you and your child discussing tooth brushing and healthy food choices. We will review medical and dental history, provide a cleaning, fluoride treatment, complete a thorough exam and obtain x-rays if necessary. We will discuss any dietary habits, medications or other factors that may place them at higher risk for cavities. This is the optimal time to ask questions about your child’s mouth and teeth.
Yes, we are always happy to have a parent accompany their child back for all phases of treatment. It has been our experience that children feel more secure and are better able to cooperate when they have a parent with them. It offers us the opportunity to provide more education and information. We also enjoy the benefit of getting to know the parents better.
You can help us to 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.
When discussing the dentist with your child, avoid using phrases that could create negative feelings such as needle, shot or drill. Our dental team uses words that have similar meanings, but are positive and won’t worry your child.
Our office attempts to schedule appointments at times that are convenient for you. Dental appointments are an excused absence, and missing school can be minimal when regular dental care is scheduled.
Since appointed times are reserved for each patient, we ask that you please notify our office at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you must cancel. We realize that unexpected things happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.