What You Should Expect at the First Visit
We are so excited to have your family be a part of our dental office! New experiences can be challenging for a young child. Prior to your child’s appointment please help make your child feel at ease and relaxed about visiting the dentist. There are several things you can do to make your child feel at ease.
Be Positive – If you have any anxiety about past dental experiences don’t let your child know of that. Avoid using words such as “hurt”, “drill”, “shot” or other words that may seem unpleasant. We are trained to use certain vocabulary to help your child relax.
By Example – Talking to your child about how you go to see your own dentist gets them excited about visiting their dentist. Reading books with your child that describes a first visit to the dentist is also helpful.
Upon arrival, our dental assistant will come out to the waiting room to greet your child. She will then bring you and your child to the treatment room, where your child will be given the choice of picking a Netflix show just for kids. The assistant will take time to explain to the child what the dentist is going to do and show them the teeth tickler (teeth cleaning instrument), the slurpy straw (suction), special vitamins for their teeth (fluoride) to name a few.
The parents will have a chance to meet the doctor, discuss proper diet, nutrition and good oral hygiene habits. A professional dental cleaning, fluoride therapy and necessary x-rays will follow this.
If your child needs fillings or extractions, we encourage you to not use words like shot, needles and hurt. Allow the dental team to explain to your child what to expect. We are trained just for that!
PLEASE PRINT OUT THESE FORMS FOR YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT. Please remember to bring your I.D, Insurance card(s) and your new patient paperwork with you to your appointment. If you need to fill the new patient paperwork out in our office please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. This helps us stay on schedule! We look forward to meeting your family soon!
First Exam Under 3: The Knee-to-Knee Exam
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child should have their first dental examination at the age of 1. The first question that most parents consider is how their child is going to sit for a dental exam at such a young age. The answer is the knee-to-knee exam.
In our experience – and understandably so – most children under the age of three are not comfortable sitting in the dental chair by themselves. Accordingly, Dr. Batra will use a technique termed a “knee-to-knee” exam to evaluate these young children. A knee-to-knee exam is a safe, convenient, and effective way to perform a dental exam on a young child because it allows the parent to be with the child for the duration of the exam, and allows Dr. Batra to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s dental needs.
In a knee-to-knee exam, the parent sits sideways in the dental chair and places their child in their lap facing them so that the child’s legs are wrapped around the parent’s waist. Dr. Batra sits facing the parent in a knee-to-knee position and the parent slowly places the child in his lap. In this manner Dr. Batra can perform a safe oral examination.
It is important to understand that proper stability of child’s the head and body is necessary in order to carry out a safe oral examination, and that the parent has a very important role in the process. It’s also critical for parents to understand that while their child will most likely cry during this examination, it is because of the new environment and experience – and not because the child is in pain (they will not be in pain). In fact, when a child does cry during a knee-to-knee exam, they actually facilitate Dr. Batra’s evaluation.
Some of the things that Dr. Batra evaluates during a knee-to-knee exam include:
- Overall growth and of the jaw bones and oral structure
- Extra-oral structures/exam (the structures and tissues outside of the mouth)
- Intra-oral structures/exam (the tissues of the mouth, the gums, the teeth)
- Oral hygiene (presence of plaque)
- Areas of decalcification