Many parents dread the day that they have to take their children to the dentist, many children associate dentists with pain and so they act frightened and are very hesitant to go to the dentist. Parents can actually teach their children that the dentist is not such a scary place to visit by taking their children to the dentist early, as early as when their first tooth begins to form. If parents approach taking their children to the dentists in this manner, they get a chance to grow up familiar with the dentist and the dental procedure, which will enable them to feel more comfortable with dental visits, the child will also gain a strong sense of trust towards the dentist and staff. Below is the typical routine for the child’s first visit.
Parents check in with the receptionist, the receptionist should give the parent forms to fill out that pertain to the child’s dental history, and insurance information as well as the dentistry’s policy and procedures.
Parent and child are first called to enter a room near where the dental check ups are done. Parents will be told what the child’s check up will consist of and then the dental assistant will ask the parent to wait outside in the waiting room as many dentists now prefer the parents to wait outside of the exam room to establish a sense of trust between child and dentist, although I think it’s so that the dentist’s job can be much easier not having to worry about the anxious parents.
The child will be instructed to sit on a chair, the dentist’s assistant, will place a bib around your child’s neck to prevent any spills getting on their clothes.
The dental assistant will then take x rays of your child’s teeth which will enable the dentist to see if the child has any cavities, this is done by placing a harmless film in between the child’s teeth, and then using a machine to snap pictures from different angles in the mouth. The dentist will then use two metal tools; a tiny mirror and a metal tool that is called an explorer to look inside of the child’s mouth and count your child’s teeth.
The dentist will then use a prophy cup which resembles the twirling head of an electric toothbrush to polish your child’s teeth with a flavored paste. Excess saliva forms will form in the mouth while polishing the teeth so the dentist will use the saliva ejector to quickly suck up the saliva inside the mouth.
The dentist will then rinse out the flavored paste that was used earlier to help polish your child’s teeth; a syringe that contains water will be used to rinse out the paste. Depending on the child’s age the dentist may then floss in between your child’s teeth.
Your child will then have a fluoride treatment; fluoride is beneficial in keeping the enamel on your child’s teeth hard and resistant towards decay. The fluoride also comes flavored, and will be placed inside disposable plastic trays that are shaped to fit around the whole section of the lower and upper portion of your child’s teeth, these trays will be inserted in your child’s mouth for 60 seconds max. After the check up the child may be given a new toothbrush, a sticker or toy.
The dental assistant will then inform you on the status of your child’s teeth and will express to you any concern about your child’s teeth, you might also get shown how to brush your child’s teeth, and proper ways to help in the prevention of cavities, you should use this time to ask any questions that you may have that are pertinent to the care of your child’s teeth. Your child should come back in six months for another check- up.