Your First Visit Will Be a Breeze
We want your family’s experience with Seattle Kids Dentistry to be a wonderful one, starting with your child’s first visit. We recommend you schedule an appointment for your baby or child as soon as their first baby teeth erupt, or by their first birthday. The sooner you bring them to the dentist – the better baseline our dentist will have for your child’s dental development. Here are some things you can expect from your child’s first dental appointment in Seattle.
Healthy Habits Start at Home
The best way to make your child’s first dental appointment a good one is to start the conversation at home! Giving your child expectations about what will happen during their first exam and cleaning can help relieve any anxiety they may be feeling. If your child is too young to understand what ‘going to the dentist’ may mean, you can demonstrate healthy dental habits (like brushing twice every day for two minutes each time, flossing daily, adding a fluoride mouthwash to your routine, and drinking plenty of water) at any time and any age.
What to Expect
Our caring team of dental professionals work hard to make our office at Seattle Kids Dentistry a fun and comfortable one! Our dental assistants are pros at answering any question your child may ask – and we love explaining the process of good teeth cleaning! If your child cannot sit by themselves or feels extra anxious, you are welcome to hold them on your lap during the exam and cleaning. While appointments can look different depending on your child’s unique dental history and needs, here is generally what you can expect at your first visit:
- We will ask that you come ready! For your convenience, we have New Patient forms available on our website to fill out prior to your appointment. This will ask you to provide the dental insurance provider we will be billing for the visit- in addition to adding this information, please bring your insurance card to each appointment.
- You can schedule online or call to set up your first visit. While we try to accommodate your busy schedule, we recommend the morning for younger children when they are more alert. Weekend appointments are also available for teenagers or children who cannot miss school or activities.
Cleaning, Exam, and X-Rays
Once you are checked in, you will have a brief wait in our comfortable reception area before you are called back for your appointment. During every routine visit (which we recommend every 6 months), our team will take updated digital x-rays to monitor your child’s dental development, our dental assistant will then thoroughly brush and clean their teeth. For babies or children under the age of 2, gentle brushing/flossing will be done. For children over 2, we will remove hardened tartar and plaque, floss between each tooth and rinse, and apply fluoride (a mineral that is naturally occurring in most of our tap water, fluoride helps protect the enamel from bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay).
At their first visit, initial x-rays will be taken. We also:
- Evaluate growth and development of the teeth, gums, and surrounding structures.
- Give parents anticipatory guidance (i.e. what to expect next, how to brush properly, etc).
- Advise on age-appropriate home care habits to decrease the need for future dental treatment.
- Point to susceptible areas that can be cared for better.
- Assess the child’s ability to cooperate and make recommendations accordingly.
Our passion is preventive dentistry. We would rather prevent disease than worry about treating it – which can cost more and be more extensive and painful for the patient. We have excellent options for helping protect your child’s teeth in between appointments, such as dental sealants.
Your Trusted Pediatric Dentists in Seattle
There’s no need to over-prepare your child for their first visit. We encourage parents to stay positive and stress-free. Children can sense anxiety, so it’s important not to use words such as hurt, shot, drill, or needle to prevent your child from fearing their visit. Just tell them they’re getting a cleaning and will have a beautiful smile once we’re done! After all, it’s the truth!
We are so excited about the opportunity to care for your child’s teeth! If there is anything we can do to help ease your (or their) anxiety prior to the first dental visit, or if you have additional questions about this appointment or the dental services we offer, please contact us. Our office is conveniently located at 945 Elliott Ave W, Suite 101 in Magnolia, Seattle, WA.