I’m often asked when the right time is for kids to visit the dentist. We like to get to know your child as soon as we can! As early as age one, kids can begin to feel comfortable with the first gentle introduction to our office. We encourage parents to come by and visit before the first appointment, so we can partner with you in easing your kids into new surroundings. We understand that kids have a lot of questions about what they will see and feel, and they can begin to experience our easy-going approach to dentistry.
We welcome parents to share in every step of their child’s first visit. Some of our parents have found it helpful to share some reading time at home prior to the first day. In answering children’s questions, we find that simple, gentle words and phrases are better than long explanations. If your child is comfortable on their own right from the start, then we invite you to relax in our reception area and take a break.
We want to build good memories with your kids! Everyone remembers going to the dentist, and those memories can last a lifetime. Many of our parents have brought their stories from the past, in hopes that we can make things better for their children. Is it possible for kids to actually enjoy going to the dentist? Absolutely! We are inspired to share our love for children’s dentistry while we join with your child on their dental journey.
Things to Bring
- A positive, relaxed mindset. We know that some of you have had bad times at the dentist’s office. Let’s work together to make it easy and fun for your child!
- A toy, blanket, or favorite stuffed animal can be reassuring to your child. Just no live animals, please, they get a little messy!
- Any lists of medicines, conditions or concerns. The more we know the better we can serve the needs of your child.
First Time Information
Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “shot”, “pull”, “drill” or “hurt”. The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
If your child is over the age of 3, we ask that you allow them to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety.
Separation anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. This is normal and will soon diminish. Studies and experience have shown that most children over the age of 3 react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own and in an environment designed for children.