The Epic Dentistry for Kids guide for parents who want to know “When to Visit a Pediatric Dentist” and “How to Prepare Your Child for their First Visit”
What Age Should I Bring My Child?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that parents should bring their child to a pediatric dentist by 1 year of age or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. The pediatric dentist team at Epic Dentistry for Kids recommends the same.
Why 1 Years Old?
One year old is a great time to see a pediatric dentist. This allows the dentist to screen for certain conditions, give anticipated guidance for growth milestones, instruct on hygiene and a proper diet for good oral health, and create a dental home for the family so they are comfortable asking questions or seeking care in case of a dental emergency. Children benefit greatly from a positive patient-doctor relationship with their dentist. By familiarizing themselves with the pediatric dental chair, the instruments and the doctor, the child will be able to relax and become comfortable in a dental setting.
What To Expect at Your First Visit at Epic Dentistry
1. Meet & Greet with the Pediatric Dental Staff
From the first call, our team will give an epic heroes welcome to our newest families and friends.
The goal is to make your child’s first visit as pleasant as it could be! If desired, before you child’s first appointment, we welcome all parents along with their children to tour our office and meet our team to help you and your child build trust in our team and make your child’s first appointment as comfortable as possible!
2. Epic Fun & Games!
At the first visit, it’s all about having fun. Kids will be introduced to our pediatric dental office with cute and inviting stuffed animals, tablets are ready for kids to play games.
The children will also see characters they love, including superheroes they watch every single day.
3. Learning the Tools & Gadgets
At this first visit, we will answer any questions you may have and do a comprehensive examination of your child’s mouth.
The doctor will also do an evaluation of the child. The dentist will look for decay, check the supporting structures and the teeth themselves. Your child’s bite and facial growth pattern will also be evaluated.
4. Oral Care for Home
During the visit the doctor will discuss with the child and the parent good oral habits to follow at home. This will also include going over any specific questions the parents may have about their child’s habits or diet.
This will help provide the child with positive reinforcement from their new friends, while also giving parents the opportunity to ask specific questions about their child.
5. Initial Exam & Cleaning
Parents are allowed to come back to the examination room to stay with their child.
Usually, we clean a child’s teeth at this first visit, apply a topical fluoride and take X-rays (tooth pictures). For those weary of X-rays, we use digital x-ray technology that reduces radiation exposure over conventional x-rays. At Epic Dentistry for Kids we follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Guidelines for taking x-rays.
How to Prepare My Child for the First Visit
It is important to prepare children for dental appointments by speaking about what they can expect to happen. It is best to use positive words and phrases to help children stay relaxed. Talk to friends and family about not trying to scare the child about the dentist, it can really deter any future dental work if all the child has heard is scary stores.
Play Games & Activities With Dental Themes
There are many fun children’s books that playfully illustrate the importance of dental health. Easy to follow narratives are used. The bad guys are the plaque. The good guys are the child of course with their brushing. The pediatric dentist and their tools are the ultimate weapon that only the best child can access. These are easily found at the local library for you to borrow and read to your child.
Don’t forget contemporary activities as well. There is YouTube and fun games online that can be found to help a child take a step toward the gamification of dental health.
Take a Virtual Tour; Epic Dentistry for Kids Has One
Take your kids on a virtual tour of the Epic Dentistry for Kids office. We have photos for them so they can see the fun games, tablets and paintings we have at the office.
Start Great Oral Habits & Practices at Home
Rather than having everything be so new, take some time to show your child how to care for their teeth. Find fun animations online or show them with their own teeth. This way when Dr. Patterson is going through what he will be doing with the child, the child will feel confident and smart because they know what he is talking about.
Common Mistakes Parents Make About Their Children’s Dental Health
A Delta Dental study found that the most frequently cited reason for not taking a child to the pediatric dentist in the last 12 months was “the child is too young” at 62%. Many parents think that children need to have a full set of teeth or need to be much older than they are to start dental care. The Delta Dental survey showed that the average age at the initial pediatric dental visit was 2.6 years.
Like we’ve mentioned above, it’s best to start pediatric dental care at the age of 1 or within 6 months after the first tooth appears. If your child older than 1 year old, it’s okay. The worst thing to do is feel guilty or nervous and keep putting it off. Put a call into our office and we can work on getting your child on the right track.