Your First Visit
Each patient is unique, so we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to the first visit. We’ll let your child set the pace. No matter what brings you to our practice for your initial appointment, you and your little one will receive a warm welcome and you’ll be treated with respect and care. Our joyful, kid-friendly office and upbeat team will make your child feel comfortable and safe.
Once you’re settled in, one of our experienced pediatric dentists will do an oral evaluation and walk you through their discovery. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and get to know us. We strive to make visits positive, fun, educational experiences in order to build a strong foundation for lifelong oral health.
When To Get Started
We follow the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry which recommend that all children visit the dentist by their first birthday.
We want to start early so we can focus on prevention and building good habits from the very beginning. We call our office a “dental home” because we want to create ongoing relationships with your family so that we can guide your child through their growth and development. Establishing good dental habits at a young age will not only allow us to focus on prevention and education as they grow, but it also helps us to build a rapport and trust with your child to make them feel right at home at every visit.
Time can fly and we understand every child may not be an infant. No problem, we love children of all ages and are excited to customize each visit to fit your child’s needs.
We want this to be a great experience and are looking forward to meeting you and your child!
What To Expect
For most young children they are not yet comfortable to sit in the dental chair alone. This is ok and we will do a lap to lap exam to make them feel safe. Over time they will get more comfortable and eventually the dental chair will become a fun place for them. We want to know all about you and your child. We will ask questions and listen to make sure we know all of your concerns and address all of your family’s needs.
At this visit, we will discuss diet, homecare, prevention, teething, fluoride, and dental habits to help give you a “snapshot” of what you may see soon with your child’s continued development.
We want this visit to be as fun as possible for children so we will introduce instruments and tools in a fun way. We'll perform a clinical examination to look at your child's development and we'll let you know what we see and make sure all of your questions are answered.
And Most Importantly...Relax!
This is going to be a great experience for both you and your child. There is no need to over prepare your child for your first visit. Just stay positive and use “kid-friendly” terms to describe the dentist. Tell your child we are going to play games, sparkle their teeth clean and count them…this is what we do! Please try to avoid words like hurt, pain, shot, needle, pull and drills. Children know when their parents are stressed and anxious, so make sure you are relaxed as well.
Why do baby teeth matter?
Primary or "baby" teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help him or her chew, speak and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
After the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well-baby check-up" for the teeth. Besides checking for cavities and other problems, we can show you how to clean your child's teeth properly and how to handle habits like thumb sucking.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. To become credentialed with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD), specialists have to pass a rigorous voluntary written and oral examination and can then call themselves “Board Certified” or Diplomate of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Matt and Dr. Leanna are proud to call themselves Board Certified Pediatric Dentists!
When can a thumb or pacifier habit affect my child's teeth?
After permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break. The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Thumb sucking is considered normal for children until the age of 2-3 years but depending on the severity of the habit can determine early intervention.
How much toothpaste and what kind do I choose?
For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
What causes baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with anything other than water in the bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.
What is the best diet for my child to help prevent cavities?
Provide a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary and processed treats. Nutritious foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, can help keep your child's smile healthy. Eliminating frequent snacking or grazing throughout the day will also decrease your child's risk of developing cavities. Water is the best drink alternative and your child should not have anything to drink during bedtime other than water as well.
When will my baby get their first tooth?
Primary or "baby" teeth start to come in or "erupt" at about 6 months of age (usually the lower front teeth). Most children will have a full set of 20 primary teeth between the ages of 2 and 3.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (most often permanent molars) and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Studies show that dental sealants can prevent up to 80% of cavities in back teeth (CDC, 2016).