The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child's first visit to the dentist occur by 12 months of age. This visit will enable Dr. Todd to evaluate your child and introduce you to proper oral hygiene. Diet, fluoride, finger and pacifier habits and tooth eruption will be discussed to ensure optimal dental health.
Before the First Visit
Please discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. You play a large role in preparing your child for his/her first visit to the dentist. Try to act relaxed and at ease. Any anxiety on your part will probably be sensed by your child. Another way to convey good feelings to your child about dental visits is to remind them that going to the dentist is a sign that they may even be growing up. You can explain that Dr. Todd will count and take pictures of his or her teeth.
Please do not tell your child that the "dentist will not hurt" as this may never have entered his or her mind. Instead, you may wish to assure your child that Dr. Todd will be gentle and friendly. Also, please avoid using the words "needle, shot, pull" or any other words suggesting unpleasantness. We will explain each of our procedures to children in terms they can understand before we perform them.
If your child is afraid, be reassuring. Young children often cry when faced with unfamiliar situations. Working together, we can overcome any apprehension your child may have. Expect your child to do well and enjoy their visit to our office and chances are they will do just that!
The First Visit
Our staff will review the health history form with you at the first visit. Your child will be introduced to our dental team and invited to tour the office. You are welcome to accompany your child into the treatment area during the initial exam. This will give you the opportunity to see our staff in action and allow Dr. Todd to discuss any dental findings and treatment directly with you.
Dr. Todd will perform a head and neck examination and then evaluate the health of the teeth, gums and your child's bite. Additionally, your child may receive a dental cleaning and fluoride. Dental radiographs (x-rays) are taken only when they are necessary. Additional services may be scheduled for a later visit.
Diet and Oral Hygiene
We will spend time educating your child on proper tooth brushing techniques when necessary during routine examinations. We cannot stress enough the importance of daily follow-up by parents.
We recommend flossing your child's teeth every day to avoid cavities between teeth and the avoidance of "sticky foods" such as Gummy Bears, Gummy Vitamins, Fruit Roll-Ups, and raisins. Dr. Todd and staff would be more than happy to show you a proper flossing technique that will work best for your child.
While your child may never think to cry, please try not to be upset if your child does cry. This is a normal reaction to the unknown, and we are trained to help fearful children through their dental experience. In fact, in infants, crying actually helps us see everything we need to see. As your child matures, it is part of our goal to encourage their independence and promote their self-esteem.
Remember when describing their visit, please do not use words such as "needle, shot, drill, pull," or words suggesting unpleasantness. We will treat your child as our own, and perform the dental service in the easiest and safest way possible.
Dedicated to the oral health care of our patients.
Dr. Todd is also an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. He achieved his dental degree and his certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Iowa.