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First Dental Exam

July 4th, 2012

We are often asked, “When should I bring my child in for the first visit?”  The answer may vary according to the circumstances.  In general, your child should be seen by the age of 2. If there is some suspected problem due to trauma or development problems, this may be by age 1 or even earlier.
It is very helpful for the first contact with the dentist to be in a controlled setting, that is before there is any need for treatment.  This way the child can be made to realize that this is a different experience than the physician or the hospital.  Often you might bring the child with you for your appointment, just to get familiar with the office.  Let them explore and meet the people there for a positive first impression.
Don’t try to overly prepare your child for the visit.  Innocent statements like, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.” can trigger images that are counter productive.  Ask your dentist or the staff what you might do to better prepare your child and be aware that it is quite easy to pass along your own fears without intending it.
Check with your dentist and the office staff to find out how they like to handle children in the practice.  Most children will do well in a family practice, but some children might be well served seeing a pediatric dentist for treatment at an early age.

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