First Visit

What to expect at the first visit and beyond

A major aim of the first infant/toddler visit is to make sure that parents/caregivers are comfortable caring for their child’s teeth, and understand how best to protect against decay and gum disease.

The American Academy of Pediatric recommends that a child’s first dental visit be no later than their first birthday. We recognize that some children have very few teeth at that age, however we often see early warning signs, such as softening of the enamel or excessive plaque buildup, even in our very young patients.

We will gently examine your child’s teeth, gums, and oral cavity, discuss their their oral hygiene needs, give you information about their bite, and answer any questions you may have.

Our most important goal is for you to leave feeling confident about how to properly for your child’s teeth.

When your child is old enough we will clean their teeth and may apply topical fluoride which increases the resistance of the teeth to decay. Dental x- rays are a very important part of a thorough dental assessment, however we prefer to be conservative in how often we recommend them – usually just every two years beginning at age 4 1/2 to 5. Sometimes an x-ray is necessary earlier when there is a specific cause for concern like an accident, an abscess, or suspicion of decay. Our x-rays are digital, we make sure our patients wear the appropriate protective gear, and we always obtain your permission before taking them.

You will always be welcome in the treatment area with your child, and we will give you a “Dental Report” summarizing our findings and recommendations after each check-up visit. Once children have reached middle-school age, we find that most of them are very comfortable on their own in the dental operatory.