As a Seaside pediatric dentist, Dr. Scott Santos wants to help lay the foundation of quality oral health for all of his younger patients. While it’s easy to think of a child’s first set of teeth as only temporary, the healthy development of primary teeth actually play an important role in determining how adult teeth develop.
When a child loses his or her primary teeth at too young of an age, the gap that’s created can cause permanent teeth to develop crooked, crowded or misaligned. That’s because primary teeth act as space holders that work to guide developing permanent teeth into position. Failure for a child to maintain their primary teeth for the right amount of time could result in a need for orthodontic treatment to correct.
Dr. Santos wants to help protect a child’s oral health and believes that dental care should start at an early age in order to ensure optimal health for a lifetime.
When should I first bring my child to see a dentist?
Your child should first visit our Seaside pediatric dentist’s office by the age of 1, or within 6 months of the first tooth eruption. If you have specific concerns regarding your child’s oral health, you may need to schedule an appointment even earlier. This first visit will allow your child to begin feeling comfortable with our office and our friendly and supportive staff. We want all of our pediatric patients to feel comfortable here, so if treatment is ever required, we can help make your child’s dental care experience a positive one.
Can I accompany my child back to the treatment area during the appointment?
Of course! While some kids feel perfectly comfortable without a parent in the room, many children need the additional security and assurance that comes with having a parent nearby during their appointment. We not only want our patients to feel comfortable, but the parents need to feel secure about the care their kids receive as well.
What happens during a child’s first dental appointment?
A child’s first visit with our Seaside pediatric dentist will consist of a routine review of your child’s overall oral health. Dr. Santos will collect all needed medical and dental health information from you while the child has a chance to meet our staff, tour the office, sit in a dental chair, and have an overall fun and relaxing experience.
If your child responds well, Dr. Santos will conduct a comprehensive dental examination, along with providing you with tips on nutrition, proper diet and the good oral hygiene habits needed to help protect your child’s developing teeth. In most cases, a professional cleaning, fluoride therapy and any necessary X-rays can also be completed during this initial visit. However, many of these steps can be postponed if a child doesn’t feel comfortable or becomes fussy during the visit.
For very young kids, Dr. Santos will conduct the examination with the child in a parent’s lap. Dr. Santos can also help teach parents of young kids the proper technique for brushing their teeth at home.
Preventing Dental Anxiety in Kids
As many parents can often feel uncertain or reluctant about visiting the dentist, it’s not unexpected that many kids often feel anxiety about receiving the dental care they need.
Kids must deal with a lot of uncertainty when visiting the dentist for the first time, including the new surroundings, sights and sounds. Even with a parent by their side, some kids may experience an increase in anxiety during their first visit to the dentist.
At Seaside Family Dentistry, our team of highly trained and experienced oral health professionals work hard to make every child’s first dental visit a comfortable and relaxing experience. We strive to create an environment that allows kids to feel welcome so they are relieved of any anxiety they may feel. Helping a child feel relaxed during every visit is just one of the ways our staff can help ensure healthy teeth for our patient now and into the future.
Do’s & Don’ts
To help your child adjust to our Seaside pediatric dentist’s office, we have a few helpful suggestions on do’s and don’ts.
- Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- Prepare your child to meet new friends – our dental team – in advanced of your visit.
- Share fun and exciting stories about your trips to the dentist.
- Make promises to your child you can’t control like it “Won’t hurt” or similar phrases.
- Share any negative feelings you may have about visiting the dentist.
- Surprise your child with a visit to our office.