If your child is under 3 years old
These appointments typically referred to as a “lap exams” where the child sits in a parent’s lap. The dentist will perform an oral exam, count and brush teeth with a toothbrush and apply fluoride. Dental cleanings become more extensive once patients are able to lie in the dental chair and are accepting of the motor toothbrush, air, water and suction.
Preparing for the first visit
How can you prepare your child for their initial pediatric dental visit? Children’s perceptions are different than adults as they often have a vivid imagination and an innocence that invites trust. Children cannot always relate to adult experiences through discussion and often do best when their dental experience is uncluttered from others opinions which can create anxiety.
Children are extremely receptive and if you are anxious about their dental visit, it is likely that they will be too. Please be positive and avoid using words such as: drill, shot, needle, pull, hurt or other scary words. We use special kid friendly vocabulary in our office and we look forward to sharing that with you and your child.
Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your child’s scheduled appointment time. We will have you update any pertinent information including your address, phone number, any new medical/dental information we should have on file, and insurance. It is important that you are on time for your child’s appointment so that we have adequate time to care for your child. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late to your scheduled appointment you will be given the following two options:
- You may reschedule the appointment.
- If possible, a portion of the scheduled cleaning or treatment will be completed during the remaining appointment time.
We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you do need to reschedule or cancel your child’s appointment, please contact us via phone 24 hours in advance so that we can offer your appointment time to another patient that may need timely care.
Parents In the Room
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room. For safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
Children often do better for treatment visits without their parents in the room. They will sometimes look to their parents to “save” them from the dentist. It is important for your child to know that you and the dentist are on the same team and that you trust the dentist. Please reinforce that the dentist is there to help them. If we feel that you are needed during treatment, we will surely invite you back. It is important that when in the room, parents remain calm, quiet and allow the dentist to communicate with your child.