Pediatric Dentistry

Your Childs First Visit

Infants should initially visit Dr Buttaro around the time of their first birthday.  However, first visits can be stressful for parents, especially for those who have dental phobias themselves.

It is imperative for parents to continually communicate positive messages about dental visits, and to help the child feel as happy and comfortable about visiting the dentist.

How can I prepare for my child’s first dental visit?

First, it is helpful to know that Dr Buttaro's office is child-friendly and the entire team aims to make each child feel as welcome as possible during all visits.

There are several things you can do to make your childs first visit enjoyable.  Some helpful tips are listed below:

Take another adult along for the visit – Sometimes infants become fussy when having their mouths examined.  Having another adult along to soothe the infant allows the parent to ask questions and to attend to any advice the dentist may have.

Leave other children at home – Other children can distract the parent and cause the infant to fuss.  Leaving other children at home (when possible) makes the first visit less stressful for all concerned.

Avoid threatening language – Dr Buttaro's team is trained to avoid the use of threatening language, like drills, needles, injections, and bleeding.  It is imperative for parents to use positive language when speaking about dental treatment with their child.

Provide positive explanations – It is important to explain the purposes of the dental visit in a positive way.  Explaining that the dentist “helps to keep teeth healthy” is far better than explaining that the dentist “is checking for tooth decay, and may have to drill the tooth if decay is found.”

Explain what will happen – Anxiety can be vastly reduced if the child knows what to expect.  Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be very helpful in making the visit seem fun. Here is a list of parent and dentist-approved books:

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
  • Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
  • Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi.
  • Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.

What will happen during the first visit?

There are several goals for the first dental visit.  First, Dr Buttaro and the child need to get properly acquainted.  Second, Dr Buttaro needs to monitor tooth and jaw development to get an idea of your child’s overall health history.  Third, Dr Buttaro needs to evaluate the health of the existing teeth and gums.  Finally, she will answer questions and advise you on how to implement a good oral care regimen specifically for your child.

The following sequence of events is typical of an initial “well baby checkup”:

  1. Dental staff will greet the child and parents.
  2. The infant/family health history will be reviewed (this may include questionnaires).
  3. Dr Buttaro will address parental questions and concerns.
  4. More questions will be asked, generally pertaining to the child’s oral habits, pacifier use, general development, tooth alignment, tooth development, and diet.
  5. Dr Buttaro will provide advice on good oral care, how to prevent oral injury, fluoride intake, and sippy cup use.
  6. The infant’s teeth will be examined by Dr Buttaro.
  7. Good brushing and flossing demonstrations will be provided.
  8. The state of the child’s oral health will be described in detail, and specific recommendations will be made.  Recommendations usually relate to oral habits, appropriate toothpastes and toothbrushes for the child, orthodontically correct pacifiers, and diet.
  9. Dr Buttaro will detail which teeth may appear in the following months.
  10. Dr Buttaro will outline an appointment schedule and describe what will happen during the next appointment.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s first dental visit, please contact Dr Buttaro's office today.