Dr. Theriot cares for many young patients, though he is a general dentist and not a pediatric dentist (which requires two years of specialized post-graduate training).* Your child’s routine needs can easily be met in our office, however, and we love caring for young smiles. Also, it can be fun and easy to have the same dentist as mom and dad.
Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Let us know as soon as you begin to see your child’s teeth coming in and we can get acquainted during a parent’s appointment. By age two or three, when all of their teeth have come in, they should have a dental exam. For this first visit and later ones, we are happy to accommodate parents who want to stay with their children in the patient rooms.
Even though we can see cavities as early as age three, the first visit’s purpose is to help establish a good history of pleasant dentist visits. If you wait until a toothache or an emergency to have your child see the dentist, he or she will associate this necessary care with pain. Sometimes this can set the stage for unhealthy anxiety and the avoidance of dental care later in life. We want your child to have a healthy smile, and we’re glad that you do too.
Children sometimes experience anxiety at the dentist. Here are three ways you can prevent this:
- Try not to “over-prepare” your children for their dentist visits. Your desire to “over-prepare” them comes from your worrying about the experience yourself. From experience, your children sense your anxiety, making your efforts backfire.
- Stay positive about their experience and avoid scary terms. We don’t give “shots,” just injections.
- Check their understanding of the purpose of dental care. Sometimes children get the false impression that visiting the dentist is punishment for not brushing or eating too many sweets.
With your help, very few children remain anxious after visiting our office. We even provide some pleasant distractions in our patient rooms, such as videos, music, and the friendliest staff around.
Read more Dental Care Tips for Parents.
*If your child has unique developmental needs or requires special treatment, we will refer you to a pediatric dentist specialist.