Your child’s first dental visit is usually short and involves very little, if any, treatment. This visit to the Coppe + Sears office gives your child an opportunity to check out our office and meet our team in a non-threatening and friendly way. During the exam, one of our dentists will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. We may also clean the teeth and assess the need for fluoride. Other topics we might touch on during this initial visit include:
- Good oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums, and for cavity prevention
- Oral habits, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and lip sucking
- Sleep and breathing issues such as difficulty breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea
- Developmental milestones and dental issues
- Proper nutrition for healthy teeth
- Scheduling dental checkups: We generally like to see children every 6 months. This builds up your child’s comfort and confidence level in visiting the Coppe + Sears team, and it allows us to monitor the development of their teeth, as well as promptly treat any developing problems.
How to help a shy or nervous child
Many children are shy or hesitant in the treatment room at first. As a parent, your natural reaction is to comfort your child, but over the years we have learned what really works to bring children out of their shells. We encourage you to walk with your child into the treatment room and communicate to them that that you will be waiting right outside in the waiting area. This is an important step in helping us build a trusting relationship with your child. When the parent stays in the waiting/reception area, your child will place his or her trust in us and will feel comfortable and confident in coming back to the office.
If a parent prefers to stay in the treatment area, please allow your child to answer when we address them. Our questions are designed to be building blocks in our new relationship, and the answer is not what is important when we ask them. We probably already know the answer! We are working toward creating an open dialogue where your child will feel more comfortable talking to our dentists and team members.
How to prepare your child for exams and procedures
At the Coppe + Sears office, we explain each procedure to your child before it is performed, and we talk about everything involved using a kid-friendly vocabulary. We love it when parents incorporate this into their own conversations about dental visits! This helps us put exams, procedures, and even dental equipment into perspective for kids. Some of the things your child will learn about while in our care are:
- the tooth mirror
- the tooth counter
- white stars (fillings)
- the raincoat (rubber dam) for white stars and sealants
- sleepy jelly (topical anesthesia)
- sleepy drops (Novocain)
- the camera (radiographs)
- vitamins for the teeth (fluoride treatments)
If it is time for your child’s first dental visit, our pediatric office is an excellent option. Coppe + Sears have a talented team well versed in treating infants, children, and adolescents. We are able to provide a positive dental experience in Lexington and the surrounding area, and we take pride in educating children on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene in order to help create a happy, healthy smile. Get in touch with us today to schedule your child’s first dental visit, and let us walk you both through the process with kindness, patience, and a gentle hand.