Dental Visit FAQ
- When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and our office all recommend that your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday (AAPD.org). Similar to a "well baby check up" at the pediatrician, this visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future.
- Why so early? What dental problems could a baby have?
- The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Once a child's diet includes anything besides breast-milk, erupted teeth are at risk for decay. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily and smile with confidence. Cavities are totally preventable with the right care. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.
- What Will Happen on the First Visit?
- At your first visit with our team, we will spend time getting to know you and your child.
During the appointment, we will review your child's medical and dental history. We will gently examine your child's teeth, gum tissue and dental development. Dr. Meggan and her team will determine the extent of treatment that will be rendered at the first visit.
We will examine your child’s teeth, check for decay, make sure that teeth are coming in the right order, check for proper jaw development.
We pride ourselves on a very friendly, inviting environment and we do all we can to help put you and your baby at ease. In keeping with that effort, we encourage you to accompany your infant in the exam room and we will recommend a knee to knee exam. For older children, by using phrases such as "careful and gentle" rather than "won't hurt you" when describing their exam, your child will feel more relaxed and comfortable during their visit in the office. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", “pain”, "drill" or "hurt". The team carefully uses words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child and Dr Meggan and her team can coach you on the best words to use. Pleasant visits to the dental office promote trust and confidence within your child that will last a lifetime. Our special office designs and our communication skills reinforce our main concern - your child's oral health, and the development of a lifetime of healthy habits.
- We will invite you to stay during your child’s first examination.
- Please do not be surprised if your child cries. Children are often afraid of new experiences and crying is a normal reaction to that fear.
- We will talk about home care and offer recommendations for maintaining excellent oral health.
- We will also discuss nutrition information and thumb and pacifier habits
Tips for a successful first visit:
- Practice counting teeth and opening wide.
- Do NOT use fear provoking words.
- Expect your child to react well and enjoy your first visit to our office.
- Do you allow parents back for treatment?
- Parents are welcome to come back with their child during all new patient visits and subsequent cleaning visits. For treatment visits (fillings, extractions, etc), Dr. Meggan recommends parents and other caregivers remain in the reception area.
Experience has shown that children tend to do better when their attention can be focused in one direction. Dr. Meggan has extensive training in behavior guidance and will work with your child in a way that allows them to understand each step of the visit. Part of the goal is to give children the confidence that they can "do it on their own" and show them that you trust our team. There's nothing better than seeing a proud child leaving after treatment, eager to tell mom or dad how great they did! In preparation for your child's visit, we ask that you avoid words like "drill", "needle", or anything similar that may scare a child. Dr. Meggan and her team will present things in a more child-friendly manner.