When should my child first see a dentist and why? By putting your child in the proper frame of mind, you can make the first visit to Dr. Postol’s dental office enjoyable and positive. Explain to them that the dentist and dental hygienists are friendly people who help to keep teeth healthy. Let your child know in advance exactly what is going to happen at the dentist – teeth examination, cleaning, etc.
It is our recommendation to bring your child to our Ballwin office at age three for their first visit. At this time we can carefully examine the development of your child’s mouth. Because dental problems often start early, the sooner the visit the better. To safeguard against problems such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb sucking, we can provide or recommend special preventive care.
Your children are the most important patients in our Ballwin office. We realize each and every child is different and every child must be treated as an individual. On their first visit to our office we will sit down with both of you and discuss your dental needs and if you have any questions or concerns about their oral health. We will show your child around our office and introduce them to the treatment room and show them how all our different pieces of equipment work. We will review their previous dental history and ask you about their dental home care.
Many first visits are nothing more than an introductory icebreaker to acquaint us with your child. For some youngsters, the trip to the dentist is an enjoyable experience without any fears or concerns. They will jump into the dental chair, open their mouths wide and have a wonderful time.
For others, going to the dentist can be very scary and frightful and can lead to lots of tears and sadness. If the child is frightened, uncomfortable or non-cooperative, rescheduling them for another day may be necessary.
Patience and calm on the part of the parent and reassuring communication with your child are very important in these instances. Short, successive visits are meant to build the child’s trust in the dentist and the dental office, and can prove invaluable if your child needs to be treated later for any dental problem.
Appointments for children should always be scheduled earlier in the day, when your child is alert and fresh. For children under 3 years of age, the parent may need to sit in the dental chair and hold the child during the examination. Also, parents may be asked to wait in the reception area so a relationship can be built between your child and us.
If your child is compliant the first visit often lasts between 15-30 minutes. During the examination our hygienist will first place a disclosing solution on your child’s teeth that will stain the plaque that they missed when they previously brushed their teeth. She will then review with them home care instructions to better help them keep their teeth cavity free.
She will then take x-rays of their teeth to see if they have any flossing cavities. Finally, she will clean their teeth and apply a fluoride treatment to help strengthen their teeth and to prevent cavities. Every child has his or her own comfort level. We do not push any treatment unless your child is emotionally ready.
Dr. Postol will then examine your child each time they have their teeth cleaned. He will examine for both brushing and flossing cavities. We will also evaluate your child’s bite to determine if orthodontics will eventually be necessary and if so at what age.
At the conclusion of the appointment, Dr. Postol will review your child’s dental health with you and present any findings. Please feel free at any time to ask questions concerning your child’s oral health; we are more than happy to answer your questions. Our entire dental team and the office in Ballwin should provide a relaxed, non-threatening environment for your child.
Although primary teeth are in your child’s mouth for only a few years, it is very important that they are kept in the best health. We may want to take an x-ray to detect any unseen cavities that need to be filled, or to make sure the adult teeth that are already present below the gums surface are in good position.
For more information on your child’s first dental visit, or to schedule an appointment, call our St. Louis area office, conveniently located in Ballwin, MO today!