We will do our best to ensure that your child has an enjoyable experience and develops a trusting and confident relationship with the dentist that will last a lifetime. The development of this relationship, for some children, may take time so we ask for your patience. Here are some questions and answers to reassure you about your child’s dental visits.
What age is appropriate to first visit the dentist?
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a visit to the dentist should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday. Before your child’s first dental visit, we welcome you to take a tour of our office. The first visit for your child encompasses an oral evaluation of your child’s oral cavity and teeth. This visit begins the fostering of a positive relationship between your child and visiting the dentist.
What do I tell my child about seeing the dentist?
You play an important part in helping your child have a positive attitude about going to the dentist. One helpful thing that you can do is be natural and matter of fact when telling your child about their dentist appointment. Tell your child that the dentist is a doctor that is going to look at their teeth and teach them how to take care of their teeth.
Do not voice your own personal fears or anxieties about going to the dentist and do not use the dentist as a punishment or threat. Talk positively about the experience of visiting the dentist like you would about anything else that your child enjoys. This approach will enable your child to view visiting the dentist as an enjoyable experience.
What happens at my child’s first dentist visit?
Our assistant or dental hygienist will work with Dr. Odhiambo to visually examine your child’s gums, teeth, tongue and cheeks. The dentist will check for any tooth decay or abnormalities in the oral cavity.
X-rays may need to be taken for further tooth examination. The assistant, dental hygienist and/or the dentist will discuss potential problems, advise you on preventive oral hygiene home care and answer any questions that you may have.
Do I stay with my child during the visit?
We ask that you allow your child to accompany our staff throughout the dental experience. Our doctors and staff are experienced in helping children overcome anxiety. Separation anxiety is not uncommon in children. Please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits negative behavior.
This behavior is quite normal and will lessen over time. Publications have shown that children over the age of three react more positively and respond better to dental treatment when they are treated on their own without parental involvement.
Thank you, your cooperation is appreciated!