How to Explain the First Visit to Your Child
You can explain to your child that the dentist is a friend who will help them have healthy teeth. Explain that at the first visit, depending on the child's age, the dentist may count their teeth, clean their teeth with a tickle toothbrush, and possibly take pictures of their teeth. Treat the dental visit as you would a trip to the mall. Never tell your child that the dentist won't hurt because they will tend to associate the term “hurt” with the dental visit. Your presentation of the visit will set the tone.
The First Visit
The child's first visit is important for several reasons. In many instances, it is the child’s first experience with dentistry. Dr. French feels it is important for the child to feel supported by their parent and encourages parents to remain with the child during their treatment.
If the child is in pain, we will do our best to alleviate it. If there are no emergency problems, we will examine your child's mouth (lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth, tonsil area, hard and soft palate), check the growth and development of the head and neck, and check the teeth and gums.
Depending on your child's age and/or comfort level, the exam will be followed by a thorough cleaning and topical fluoride treatment. We will take X-rays as necessary and as indicated by your child's acceptance level. We will evaluate any habits that may influence the development of an attractive smile. We will explain our findings to you as we examine them in-depth after the examination is complete.
The initial visit is designed to be easy and fun, because we want to lay a foundation that will give your child a sense of security and familiarity as they begin their journey on a lifetime of good dental health.
Fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to decay. When fluoride is used topically on the teeth, it makes the enamel stronger and more resistant to decay. Toothpaste, rinses and fluoride treatments at the dentist help to make the enamel stronger.
Fluoridated water is the best way to prevent cavities, as it makes the enamel stronger from the inside as it is forming. If you do not have fluoridated water, please ask us about a fluoride supplement for your child.
X-rays are very important in diagnosing tooth decay in between teeth. Merely looking at the teeth without x-rays misses over 60% of tooth decay. X-rays are used in diagnosing abscessed teeth, decay, missing teeth, trauma, and jaw development. We utilize minimum radiation dosage, protective lead aprons, and the most modern equipment to reduce your child's exposure.
Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth serve many functions besides allowing your child to chew properly, enunciate correctly, and have a positive self-image. They also help to guide the permanent teeth into their proper eruption sites. The front "baby teeth" are lost between the ages of 6 to 8, and your child won't start to lose their back ones until ages 10 to 12.
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