Posted on 11/17/2016 by Patty Martin
|Your child’s first trip to the dentist should fall sometime around their first birthday. Since many children need braces or other forms of dental care throughout their young life, establishing a good relationship with Dr. Martin sets your family up for success from an early age.
Treating or preventing dental problems in children (and in adults) is also much easier if you catch issues when they first appear. Approximately 25 percent of children will have a cavity by the age of four, so a trip to see Dr. Martin at Stone Creek Dental Care in Walla Walla is never too early, once teeth start to appear.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist is typically short and sweet, so rest easy.
Getting to Know YouDuring the first part of the exam, Dr. Martin will spend time introducing herself to your child and gauging their personality. Let your child interact naturally with our team members. It’s important not to rush right into business, so your child has time to get acclimated to the new situation and environment.
Oral HabitsNext, we will talk to you and your child about your oral hygiene habits and routine. He or she might ask questions about thumb sucking, diet, brushing and any concerns you have. We will examine your child’s bite and existing teeth and likely use a dental model to show your child how to properly brush his or her teeth.
Getting to Know the Dentist’s ChairDr. Martin will use this opportunity to reduce any fear or anxiety over future visits by introducing your child to the dentist’s chair and to the tools and machinery around the office. Letting your child see the suction and cleaning devices will make cleanings and maintenance less stressful because he or she will already know what to expect.
CleaningIf necessary, Dr. Martin may use an electric tooth polisher or manual brush to clean your child’s teeth. If there are any visible stains or decay, the doctor will take care of those at this time. Depending on your child’s teeth and habits, the dentist may prescribe a fluoride treatment to strengthen your child’s enamel and protect against decay.
Additional TreatmentAt the end of your visit, we will schedule your child’s next visit (about every six months). If additional treatment is necessary, he or she may schedule a follow-up visit sooner. Traditionally, children get their first dental X-rays between the ages of five and six, so you shouldn’t expect to do that on your first visit unless there is cause for concern.
Treat TimeAfter your child’s first dental appointment, you may want to reward your child for the visit. Seeing the dentist can seem scary, so ending your exam with some positive reinforcement makes the experience memorable in a good way. Whether you buy your child a new toothbrush that has his or her favorite cartoon character on it, take him or her out for a healthy treat or take your child to see a new movie, celebrating a successful visit makes the next trip much easier.