A Word From Our Hygienist, Ilene Levine
Over the past few months, I have noticed a lot of young new faces coming through our office. I thought it might be a good idea to give parents some guidelines as to when you should start thinking about bringing your children to the dentist and what to expect from that first visit.
We recommend that the first introduction should be approached between the ages of 3 – 4 years. If there is an older sibling in the house, we encourage parents to bring their toddler to those check-up appts. as well. This is a great way for your child to learn about us and what we do in a non-participating manner. They can take a “ride” in the dental chair, get a new toothbrush and of course visit our toy box.
When we do schedule a child for their first check-up, 30 – 45 minutes is set aside for that appointment. During that visit, we would hope to be able to exam the child’s mouth, check for cavities, polish the teeth and apply a fluoride treatment. The examination entails looking to see that all primary teeth are present. The spacing of the baby teeth gives us some idea as to how the permanent teeth will erupt (crowding, bite, etc.). We also want to know about any habits such as grinding, thumb sucking, biting nails, etc.
In our office we have an instrument called Diagnodent. Basically, it looks like a pen that contains a laser light. This light enables us to detect “soft” spots in the child’s enamel without the need to “poke” them. By discovering decay in this early stage, we are then able to use another type of laser to remove and treat the decay without the need for anesthesia and drilling.
Our goal is to make your child’s first experience in our office as pleasant and positive as possible. We would never push a child to do more than they are ready for. So, if on that first visit we only count their teeth, or only get to polish two teeth – its OK. Eventually we will get it all done and they will always walk out smiling.