Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that your child visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday or 6 months after eruption of the first tooth - whichever occurs first. Our pediatric dental staff is trained and has extensive experience treating children who have significant medical and/or behavioral health care requirements. The approach will vary from child to child and will be discussed with you at the initial visit. Please inform us if your child has special health and dental care needs prior to their first visit.
How can I prepare my child for their first visit?
You play an important role in making your child's first dental experience a positive one. Any anxiety on your part will be sensed by your child. Convey good feelings to your child about dental visits being a part of growing up and let your child know they are going to learn lots of new ways to make their teeth sparkle and enjoy a healthy smile. You can explain that Dr. Jason will count and possibly "take pictures" of his/her teeth.
Please do not tell your child that the dentist will not hurt, as the idea of being hurt may have never entered your child's mind. Also, please do not use the words needle, shot, drill, pull, or any words suggesting unpleasantness. Even the use of these words in a joking manor will negatively impact your child's experience. Our goal is to perform the dental treatment in the easiest and most positive way possible for your child.
Will I stay with my child during the visit?
We encourage parents to come into our treatment area to view the facilities and personally meet the Doctor and staff. After this initial visit, we hope that parents will feel comfortable enough to allow their child to enter the treatment area on their own for subsequent visits. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome fear and anxiety. Anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. This is normal and will soon diminish. Studies have shown that most children over the age of 3 react in a more positive way when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own. If you choose to accompany your child, we ask that you assume a passive role of an observer. If more than one person is speaking to your child, they may become confused. Your help in this effort is greatly appreciated and will result in a positive relationship of trust and cooperation between your child and Dr. Jason.
Try to make dental visits enjoyable for your child; we'll help!
Set a good example! Brush and floss your own teeth daily, and visit the dentist regularly.
Read books with your child about visiting the dentist. Examples in our Links & Reviews tab.
Please do NOT:
Use a dental visit as a punishment.
Bribe your child into going to the dentist.
Let the child know you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist.
Let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits. Use words like hurt, pain, needle, drill, shot, etc.
Have a question?
If you have any questions about our practice, please call us anytime (703) 319-8370