Now that you have arranged for your child’s visit to our office, we know that you have many questions to ask. In this letter we shall try to answer those that most parents ask and, of course, we will be glad to answer your individual questions at any time.
1. Have you any suggestions about how to prepare my child for his/her first visit?
The most important thing is not to over prepare your child. Casually mention a few days ahead that “we are going to visit the dentist the day after tomorrow.” If your child has any questions, answer them briefly and enthusiastically. Be positive in your approach and tell your child we will count their teeth while he watches in a mirror.
2. What is the procedure at the first visit?
At the first visit your child is introduced to our dental office. The teeth, soft tissue and supporting structures will be thoroughly examined and the bite will be evaluated. Everything is explained and shown, by a method known as “Tell, Show and Do.” If you have an emergency appointment because your child is in pain, the emergency will of course be taken care of immediately, and the regular routines left for another time. Even if the children are not in pain, they may be fearful and apprehensive about a new experience. There may be crying but crying is a child’s normal reaction to the unknown. When children know more about the office and no longer “fear the unknown” they will be willing and cooperative patients. If your child has had any earlier bad experiences with dentistry, it may take more than one visit to make them feel ready to cooperate and to accept dental treatment. It is wise to spend time in gaining their confidence and in training them to become cooperative patients.
3. May I come into the treatment room with my child?
Parents are always welcome to accompany the child into the treatment area. The parent’s presence is often comforting and reassuring in a new situation, but this may not be necessary after one or two visits.
4. What will occur at the second visit?
If your child is younger than 4 years of age or is very apprehensive at the initial visit, a second visit may be needed to complete the dental cleaning. We will devote our second visit to showing you and your child how to prevent decay and gum disease. We will discuss how to remove plaque by brushing and flossing, and how your child’s individual diet affects his/her decay rate. We will then remove the plaque and apply fluoride. Also, children who require medical clearance prior to dental cleaning may need a second visit.
Your aim, as a parent and ours as pediatric dentists are the same- to keep your child’s teeth in good condition, and to make the process of doing so a pleasant one for child, parent, and dentist. This aim can be achieved by following the procedures above.
Nyack Pediatric Dentistry
P.S. Kindly complete the downloadable “Patient Medical History“, and “Food Intake Diary” forms and bring them with you to your child’s first appointment. (click on the form name above to download each document)
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Dr. Boudounis received her dental degree from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery and her specialty training from Columbia-New York Presbyterian Hospital.