Your Child’s First Visit

mother and child greeted by doctorA great deal of effort has gone into planning and organizing our office so that you and your child can have an optimal dental experience. Prior to any examination, we will visit with the parents and child away from the treatment area. Specific concerns and previous experiences will be discussed. Since some children have trouble adapting to new faces and new situations, we may limit this first visit to a “get acquainted tour” of the office. Another appointment can then be made at no additional charge. Every effort will be made to make your child’s first visit a positive and educational experience. Please note that we will not be doing any invasive treatment at the first appointment unless it is an emergency. This is our opportunity to gain your child’s trust and give them a positive, rewarding experience.

In order to allow the dentist and staff to focus on your child being examined we encourage parents to make arrangements for care of siblings outside the office.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all children establish a dental home by one year of age.

doctor treating child patient

Helpful Hints for the First Visit

  1. Be positive! Please refrain from letting you child know of any anxiety you may have about the dentist. Kids are very perceptive and can pick up on very subtle clues such as comments like “Don’t worry—it won’t hurt” or “If you’re good at the dentist, we’ll go to the toy store afterwards!” These statements can actually make your child more anxious because they know you never say things like that when anticipated experiences are really fun.
  2. Avoid the “over-explaining” pitfall. Stay away from words that may cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, drill, shot, pulling teeth, or hurt. We will explain procedures to your child using kinder, friendlier words that will be less frightening to your child. Don’t go beyond the fact that we will be checking their teeth.
  3. Allow your children to bring a special toy, stuffed animal or blanket to comfort them if needed.
  4. Dress your child in comfortable clothes that they like to wear. We really don’t care if the pants have holes in the knees or the favorite dress has a stain down the front. Since children will be lying down, it is best for girls’ hairstyles to be free of barrettes or ties at the back of the head.
  5. Bring filled out paperwork and forms so as to not delay things upon arrival.
  6. Be sure you are comfortable with directions to our office and leave home early so that you are not rushed. Remember, traffic in Santa Rosa can be very frustrating at any time of the day. A frustrated parent can make a child feel uneasy before they even walk in the door.
  7. New experiences can be challenging for a young child. They may exhibit “avoidance behavior” such as squirming or crying at their first appointment. Parents should not be embarrassed or surprised if their child is not initially cooperative in the office. Usually, with regular visits to our kid-friendly office, this type of behavior diminishes quickly.