Your first visit to Merced Pediatric Dentistry establishes a vital foundation for our relationship with you. During the first visit, we make sure to obtain important background information, like your medical history, and give you time to get to know your doctor. To understand what to expect for your first visit to our practice, please read through this page.
Unfortunately, some kids develop tooth decay at an early age. We will be on the lookout for cavities — but that's only one reason for an early visit to our office. Equally important is reviewing the proper ways to care for a young child's mouth, going over your child's developmental milestones, and discussing the importance of good oral hygiene.
Preparing for the Big Day:
The way kids seem to pick up on their parents' feelings sometimes seems uncanny; so, if you're nervous about going to the dentist yourself, try not to let it show. Generally, during this visit we'll simply be talking to you and your child, looking in his or her mouth, and making oral health assessments. It's best to tell your child what to expect beforehand, without making too big a fuss about it. You could even build some excitement by helping them get ready for “the big day.”
When you come in, it's a good idea to bring a comforting toy, a snack, and an extra diaper or two, just in case of fussiness. If possible, leave other kids at home, so we can concentrate on the new patient — but if you can bring another adult along, it may free your attention to focus on your child's oral health. Likewise, filling out forms in advance may save time and effort on the day of the visit.
When you and your child are comfortably seated in the office, we'll spend a few minutes getting to know each other and explaining what we will be doing. Then, we'll perform a gentle examination of the mouth. We will be looking for any early signs of dental problems such as tooth decay, and assessing the risk that your child may develop the disease in the future. Often, this kind of risk assessment can help us prevent — and even reverse — the early stages of tooth decay, without any drilling.
Finally, we'll discuss various ways to keep your child's oral health in top condition. For instance, we may talk about how diet, eating habits and oral hygiene practices can help prevent tooth decay, the most common chronic disease of childhood. That's an important subject for everyone — even more so if your child is at greater risk. If any treatments (such as fluoride) are needed, we will explain what they are and why we recommend them. We will also review tips on cleaning and brushing effectively, and we'll schedule a follow-up visit as required.
Many habits are developed early in life. That's why it's important to “get it done by age one.” So when it's time for your child's first visit… don't hesitate! You'll be glad you came in.