Your First Visit

A child smiling at the dental office.

At what age should my child see a pediatric dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends establishing care with a pediatric dentist no later than 12 months of age. This may seem early, but infant dental appointments are important to screen for early childhood cavities, developmental abnormalities, and to ensure that your oral hygiene practices at home are effective as teeth erupt.   

What age range does our practice treat?

We treat children from birth until 21 years old. If your child has special health care needs, such as developmental or intellectual disabilities, we may see them past the age of 21. This is determined based on each patient’s individual dental needs. 

Dental office toothbrush and prizes.

What to expect at the first dental appointment?

Unsurprisingly, an infant is probably going to be upset during their first few visits with us. These appointments may include crying, kicking, or screaming as an age-appropriate response to new experiences. These appointments may also be stressful for you as a parent. We know this, expect this, and want you to know that we strive to make these appointments quick, easy, and educational.  Our goal is to have Dr. Matt thoroughly examine your child’s mouth and teeth, lightly brush away any plaque and apply a low dose fluoride varnish. Equally important is the opportunity to provide you with education on growth milestones and cavity prevention. Our team will review brushing techniques and cavity risk assessments.  Dr. Matt will happily take the time to answer any questions you have and address any concerns.

If your child is a little older and visiting us for the first time, we encourage you to explain to them that they are going to the dentist to have their teeth brushed and counted. Ask them to think about what they may want to watch on YouTube during their appointment!

Usually, the first dental appointment will include an examination, dental cleaning, and fluoride application. Depending on your child’s age and development this may include x-rays of the teeth and jaws. If your child has any additional treatment needs, Dr. Matt will tailor an individualized plan and discuss the best ways to accomplish treatment goals. After their appointment, your child will visit our prize wall to pick out their favorite color toothbrush, stickers and prizes!