The Infant Dental Examination
Allow 30 minutes
Babies need dentists, too! Bring your baby to the dentist when the first tooth appears or the baby is one year old. This it is the recommendation of both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
As soon as a tooth erupts, the bacteria in the mouth have a surface on which to stick. Babies can get “cavities.” This is preventable, yet complicated by a variety of risk factors. If parents had dental problems, then there is a good chance that without early intervention, the child will develop dental disease as well. Genetics, oral hygiene, habits and nutrition are important factors in oral health status.
At this appointment, one of our doctors will assess your child’s risk factors and help you create the right early intervention oral health strategies to prevent dental disease for a lifetime. Please bring all your questions and concerns and we will address them.
Our Goals for the Infant Appointment:
- To give a thorough examination of all the soft and hard tissues of the mouth
- To check for normal growth and development and signs of dental disease
- To assess risk factors and develop oral health strategies with you
- To answer your questions
- To establish a relationship with you and your child
- To present educational information on nutrition, teething, harmful habits and safety
- To welcome you to our dental family and establish a Dental Home for your child!
The First Visit (Age 3 and older)
Allow 1 hr for the first visit
The first visit is paced to the individual needs of each child. We provide an orientation to introduce you and your child to the dental team, tour our facility, and be allowed time to relax and become comfortable before the examination. Depending upon age appropriateness, you may watch a fun and educational DVD together. Our staff will review your child’s health history with you, including whether or not Mom or Dad ever had cavities.
We recommend you stay with your child during the initial visit, enabling us to gain your child’s confidence. (Parents are requested to be present at all examinations, regardless of the child’s age.) Following the examination, the doctor will discuss findings and recommendations. Younger children generally end their appointment taking a photo with their dentist – which they will later receive in the mail as a memento of their big day!
For children above seven years, an oral examination, thorough cleaning and fluoride treatment is usually performed. Any necessary X-rays of the teeth and jaws will also be taken. Younger children are usually given a separate hygiene appointment on a different day so they can look forward to coming back for a “play date” with their new Ocean Adventure friends.
Our goals for you and your child at the first appointment:
- To feel comfortable and welcome in our environment
- To establish rapport with our office staff and become part of our dental family
- To have an examination with one of our doctors and have all your questions addressed
- To receive dental heath education and information on nutrition, habits, and home care specific to your family’s dental history and lifestyle
- To leave with sparkling teeth, and have your child motivated to care for them
- To become motivated to actively partner with us in promoting a goal of healthy teeth and gums
Q: How should I prepare for this appointment?
A: Be positive, keep it simple, and try not to over-prepare. Tell your child that you will be going to a fun place that looks like a submarine, where there will be new friends to meet. Be upbeat and encouraging! We often tell little ones that they will have their teeth counted and polished with special sparkles. If you like, you can read your child a book about going to the dentist.
Q: What else can I say or do?
Use child-friendly language like “tooth pictures” and “baby mirror” with younger children. If you have ever had an unpleasant dental experience, try not to let this filter to your child. Be happy, positive, and relaxed; these qualities will transfer to your child. Expect to have a pleasant and enriching experience. This is our goal for you and your child.