The purpose of this visit is to begin our collaboration with parents to prevent the bacterial infection that causes cavities. This disease is called dental caries, and there is no antibiotic to treat it. Because decayed baby teeth need fillings, we are motivated to help keep our very young patients cavity-free.
We follow the recommendations established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which recommends that the first dental visit should be by the child's first birthday. The bacteria in a child's mouth is getting established around this time, and so this is the time that we can easily influence what types of bacteria thrive in the mouth. We want all the good bacteria to win out at this early stage.
Prior to your appointment you will fill out the health history form. For this age group, it includes a Caries Risk Assessment. Your answers to these detailed questions allow us to learn about your child’s routines. With that information, we may provide recommendations to lower the risk of developing early cavities.
Our office looks and feels like a warm home. We have a fun waiting room with iPads, Playstations, trucks, stuffed animals, books, and toys. However, do not expect a long stay in the waiting room because we respect your time, and we will be ready for you.
One of our Registered Dental Assistants will greet you and begin your appointment, which will last about thirty minutes. She will invite you into a private room with a large window overlooking a beautiful garden featuring our artfully created birdhouses.
Your child will be on your lap. Dr. Kevin or Dr. Stephanie will begin by allowing your child to see and feel the gloves, the mirror, and the light. You and the dentist will sit facing each other in the "knee-to-knee" position. We will then gently have the child lie back, supported by the parent's and the doctor's legs. It is the best way to be able to see in the mouth safely and effectively. The exam is brief, but thorough. Dr. Kevin or Dr. Stephanie will evaluate the health and development of the teeth, gums, and jaw. Although we make every effort to have a positive experience, your child may respond with crying. We understand that this is natural, and hope that you will not feel worried about your child's ability to do this.
We will then all move to another private room, where your child can play with our toys along with the dental assistant. She will keep your child entertained on the floor right next to you so that you can talk with the dentist.
You will get an explanation of why cavities happen and why we are asking the questions in the Risk Assessment.
The dental assistant will then review the Risk Assessment with you, and make recommendations so that your child’s risk for getting early cavities will be low.
Your child will leave with a special "prize", a photo with the dentist, and a good start to a lifetime of dental health!