Children’s Dentistry

Your child’s first visit

Drs. Lauren and Shelby support the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s (AAPD) recommendation that your child visit the dentist by their first birthday.  At Hedgespeth Family Dentistry, this is a short, fun and relaxed appointment for Dr. Lauren or Shelby to discuss any concerns you may have and gently examine the gums and teeth.  We will talk about prevention of cavities so that your child’s smile can stay as healthy as it is precious.  You can think of it as a well-baby visit for your child’s teeth!

What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?

What should you tell your child about his/her first visit to see Dr. Lauren or Shelby?  “We are going to visit the dentist to brush and count your teeth!”  Most often children enjoy their regular cleaning visits and look forward to coming back- another reason to let your child’s first visit not be emergency based!  We value this time to build a trusting relationship with your child. 

You are very important to how your child perceives dental care.  Please do not use words like shot, hurt, needle or drill to discuss your child’s treatment.  We will truthfully answer any question your child has using language that is less scarry.  Also, it is difficult for a child to focus on multiple people giving directives at a time.  Because of this, we ask that parents be “quiet helpers” during this dental appointment so that the doctor can focus completly on your child and your child can focus on the doctor.  Your child’s appointment can only be as smooth and easy as possible with your help!  We truly enjoy working with our youngest patients, and we think it shows!

Here are some “First Visit” tips:

  • Read books with them about going to the dentist.
  • Role play at home: Laying down, let your child use a small flashlight to “check and count” your teeth.  Then, switch positions.
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences.

During your first visit the dentist will:

  • Play with you!  You can help clean our toy teeth!
  • Examine your mouth, teeth and gums.
  • Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking.
  • Check to see if your child needs fluoride.
  • Teach you about cleaning your child’s teeth and gums.
  • Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits.