Your Child's First Dental Visit

new patient resources

If you are new to The Smile Shop, we want you to be informed about you child's first visit. Our dentists are highly skilled and stay up-to-date on the proven methods and approaches to pediatric dentistry. We specialize in comprehensive care from the infant stages through the teen years to ensure the best smiles around. Our goal is to establish a long-lasting relationship with our parents and patients.

When should my child first see a dentist and why?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the America Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children see a pediatric dentist by their first birthday. This is an ideal time for a pediatric dentist to carefully examine the development of your child’s mouth. Dental problems often start early and can be prevented in most cases; therefore, the earlier the visit the better. We feel an early exam with a strong emphasis on prevention sets the foundation for a lifetime of oral health. Establishing a relationship with a pediatric dentist early also helps expedite treatment in the event of an emergency involving the mouth. Injuries involving the teeth and surrounding areas are common as your infant learns to walk and explore his or her environment.

How do I prepare my child and myself for the visit?

Before your visit, our office staff will be happy to discuss the procedures of the first appointment so there are no surprises. Our goal on the first visit is to establish a warm connection with your child to help relieve any fears you or your child may have. We understand that your child may be anxious and our experienced staff will help your child every step of the way. We encourage you to be a part of our dental health team, working with us to protect the health of your child. We count on you to give your child encouragement and talk to your child in a positive way about what to expect, and build excitement about the upcoming visit.

Reading to your child about one of their favorite characters going to the dentist for the first time may be a helpful tool in preparing your child for their visit.

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss

The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Dora the Explorer Show Me Your Smile! by Ricci Christine and Robert Roper

Sesame Street Elmo Visits the Dentist by P.J. Shaw and Tom Brannon

Peppa Pig: Dentist Trip by Neville Astley and Mark Baker

Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins

Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush by Che Rudko and Tom Brannon

What will happen on the first visit?

For young children, the first visit is an introduction to acquaint your child with our doctors and staff. We have found out that a calm, warm and fun environment is the key to a successful first visit. At the child’s initial visit health dietary and oral hygiene habits are discussed. The first visit is a great time to start a preventive plan to set the foundation for a lifetime of dental health. At this visit we will check for early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle decay. We will also discuss habits such as pacifiers and thumb sucking. This is a great opportunity for you to ask the doctor any questions you may have. Short, successive visits are meant to build the child’s trust in our doctors and staff and can provide invaluable if your child needs to be treated later for any dental condition.

Appointments for your children may be scheduled earlier in the day, when your child is alert and fresh. For younger children we often carry out the examination by performing a “lap exam.” The parent will hold the child and then the child’s head is placed in the doctor’s lap. This is a very unintimidating way for the dentist to get a great look at your child’s mouth. At the initial visit, children must be accompanied by their legal guardian.

Why choose a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is the dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association which encompasses comprehensive dental care for all children, from infancy through adolescence. A children’s dental specialist is a practitioner who, after becoming a general dentist (often called a family dentist), has completed an additional two years of post-doctoral training in the recognition and treatment of children’s dental and orthodontic problems. Specialty education includes child psychology, behavior guidance, preventive techniques, restorative dentistry, growth and development, and the treatment of children with special needs.

All of our doctors and staff strive to make your child’s experience safe, comfortable, educational and fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our FAQs to find out more about pediatric dentistry and commonly asked questions.

New Patient Forms

Fill out these forms prior to your first visit, bring it with you to our office and help expedite your check-in.

Medical History New Patient Forms

HIPAA Acknowledgement Form

Notice of Privacy

Our Notice of HIPPA Policy