We love to see families in our practice. We refer to our patients as our “family of patients” and think of families as one of God’s most perfect creations. We love seeing children in our office and always invite mom and/or dad to share in their children’s experiences in the dental office.
The very first time a child goes to the dentist should be a positive experience. The best way a parent can insure that the experience is positive is to bring the child to meet the dental team when the child is around two years old. Typically, a child of this age will have no dental problems and therefore require no treatment. We call this first visit a “happy visit”. We will do no more than give the child a ride in the chair, count their teeth and make the experience fun. There is never a charge for this visit but we believe it is invaluable in creating a positive foundation to build on in the future. Also, the parents are absolutely key in helping their child have a positive first impression of the dentist. Our suggestion is that parents make no big deal of a child’s first visit to the dentist. Typically, a well-intentioned parent tries to prepare a child for a trip to the dentist by telling them how fun it will be and that if the child is well-behaved they will be rewarded, etc. When a parent makes a big deal out of the child’s first visit then typically the child is more nervous than they otherwise would be. The best way to treat a child’s first visit to the dentist is to treat it like a child’s first visit to the supermarket; it is no big deal. Trust that the dental team will know just what to do to make your child’s first visit a positive experience.
When the child is approximately three years old they should be having regular six month visits with the dentist and hygienist. This helps establish life-long habits of proper dental care. Regular visits at an early age will also allow us to monitor proper growth and development of the child’s teeth and dental arches. We can often correct small problems before they become big ones. At each visit we will reinforce the importance of proper home care and show each patient proper hygiene techniques and help motivate them to properly care for their teeth.
We will also help educate parents on the proper pediatric care of their young children. For example, we are cognizant of the importance of proper nutrition for both the developing fetus and the young child. A diet that is too soft, for example, will not stimulate the proper growth and development of the dental arches. Breast feeding is also extremely important for the proper growth and development of the dental arches. Monitoring tonsils and adenoids is extremely important to ensure that children breathe through their nose and NOT their mouth. Mouth breathing, whether caused by enlarged tonsil and adenoids, allergies or some other cause, will inhibit the proper growth and development of the dental arches. If dental arches do not grow properly then there will not be adequate space for erupting permanent teeth, sleep breathing and TMJ problems can result, and facial aesthetics will be adversely affected. Proper growth and development of the dental arches is extremely important and is therefore constantly monitored in our young patients. Thumb sucking and overuse of pacifiers and baby bottles are also common causes of underdeveloped dental arches. These topics and more will be discussed when a child and their parent(s) spend time with our dental team during a regular visit to our office.
For a free consultation or “happy visit” for your child please call for an appointment that best suits your family’s needs: (714) 838-0760.