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Dr Kushnir and her staff aim to make the children and parents feel as welcome as possible during all visits. Our office is generally colorful, child-friendly, and has games, toys, coloring books, & books.
When Do I Schedule My Child’s 1st Dental Appointment?- We recommend that all children visit the dentist by age 2.
What will happen during the first visit?
During your child's first visit, we will review the dental & family history, conduct a thorough oral exam of the teeth, gums, and jaw; clean the teeth; educate the child & parents about diet, home care, and any concerns about the child's oral health. We will also answer any other questions that you may have about your child's health.
The following sequence of events is typical of an initial child checkup:
- Dr Kushnir & our team will greet the child and parents.
- The infant/family health history will be reviewed (this may include questionnaires).
- Dr. Kushnir will address parental questions and concerns.
- More questions will be asked, generally about the child’s oral habits, pacifier use, diet, and home care routine.
- Dr. Kushnir will give advice on good oral care, how to prevent oral injury, fluoride intake, and sippy cup use.
- The child's teeth will be examined. Generally, the dentist & parent sit facing each other. The child is positioned so that his or her head is cradled in the dentist’s lap. This position allows the child to look at the parent during the examination. A toddler may sit in the same position or may sit on top of the parent in the dental chair.
- Good brushing and flossing demonstrations will be provided.
- The child’s oral health will be reviewed & recommendations will be made about oral habits (thumbsucking, grinding), appropriate toothpastes & toothbrushes, and diet.
- Dr. Kushnir will review which teeth may appear in the following months.
- Dr. Kushnir will outline an appointment schedule and describe what will happen during the next appointment.
How do I prepare my child for his first dental visit?
There are several things parents can do to make the first visit enjoyable. Some helpful tips are listed below:
Take another adult along for the visit – Sometimes infants and children become fussy when having their mouths examined. Having another adult along to soothe the child allows the parent to ask questions and to listen to any advice the dentist may have.
Leave other children at home – Other children can distract the parent and cause the child to fuss. Leaving other children at home (when possible) makes the first visit less stressful for all concerned.
Avoid threatening language – Our staff are trained to avoid the use of threatening language like “drills,” “needles,” “injections,” and “bleeding.” It is important for parents to use positive language when speaking about dental treatment with their child.
Provide positive explanations – It is important to explain the purposes of the dental visit in a positive way. Explaining that the dentist “helps keep teeth healthy” is far better than explaining that the dentist “is checking for tooth decay and might have to drill the tooth if decay is found.”
Explain what will happen – Anxiety can be greatly reduced if the child knows what to expect. Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be very helpful in making the visit seem fun. Here is a list of parent and dentist-approved books:
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
- Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
- Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi.
- Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.
Please call the office at 973-467-9876 to schedule your child's visit!