Your Child’s First Visit to Smile Center for Kids

Dental Appointments At Smile Center For Kids

Your child’s first visit here at Smile Center For Kids will typically consist of a cleaning, an examination, X-rays, and a review of our findings and/or treatment recommendations. Some treatments can be completed on the same day while others may require another appointment. We’ll make sure to accommodate your schedule.

Preparing Your Child for a Successful First Dental Appointment

There are a few things you can do as a parent before bringing your child to Smile Center for Kids to ensure that the visit is a success.

  • For very young children, you can play pretend to explain what will happen. A parent can play the part of the dentist and show them that it can be fun and interesting, not scary.
  • If your child is old enough, you can simply explain. Don’t make the dentist a mystery; children are happier when they understand what’s going on. A quick explanation of dental visits and why they matter will go a long way.
  • Teach the importance of dental hygiene. Kids who know how important brushing and flossing are to the health of their smiles are better able to appreciate the dentist.
  • Bring them to meet the dentist beforehand! A great way to make the first appointment less stressful is for the dentist not to be a stranger during that appointment. We’re happy to schedule an advance meet-and-greet at Smile Center for Kids.
  • Be there to reassure them. Information is no substitute for the presence of a loved and trusted adult. We welcome parents to stay close by to offer plenty of support and encouragement in early visits.

To help your child’s visit go as smoothly as possible, please come prepared with the following information:

  • A list of any or all medication that your child is presently prescribed and taking
  • Dental insurance information for your child
  • Patient forms filled out
  • Your child’s previous dental X-rays, if any

Having this prepared and ready for the appointment will save you time and allow us to make your child’s first visit the very best experience.

What to Expect at a Dental Exam for Children

Although the first visit will vary from patient to patient based on their age and individual needs, a dental check-up generally consists of a professional cleaning, a comprehensive dental examination, and potentially X-rays.

Dental X-Rays

How frequently your child will need dental X-rays relies largely on their medical and dental history, age, and current oral health. New-patient examinations often include X-rays.

If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of the appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line.

Dental Cleaning

Once it’s time for your child’s cleaning, the dentist or hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your child’s teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean their pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish with a thorough flossing.

Comprehensive Exam

After your child’s teeth are clean, the dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure their oral health is in tip-top shape. They will:

  • Examine your child’s teeth for signs of decay
  • Check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your child’s gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
  • Test how your child’s top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
  • Examine your child’s neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer
  • Evaluate oral airway and breathing
  • Evaluate the presence or absence of a tongue or lip restriction or tie that could cause nursing, chewing, swallowing, breathing, cleaning, and speaking problems now and in the future.

Based on your child’s exam, we’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve their oral hygiene before their next appointment.

We’re Looking Forward to Your Child’s First Appointment!

We’re so excited to see you and your child. If you have any questions, please call Sunland (915) 455-3365 (west) or Edgemere (915) 455-3448 (east) or send us an email.