Your first Visit

It is important to us that your first impression of Tiny Tooth Dental meets your expectations. Our first priority is to provide a pleasant interaction with our front office associates as we assess your child’s needs and schedule the appointment. We want to give your child the appropriate amount of time and arriving with the proper documentation will ensure the intake process is smooth and effortless. With that goal in mind, plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your child's scheduled appointment time and bring the following information:

If you are unable to complete the forms in advance, please note that the parent or legal guardian who accompanies the child for this first visit will be asked to complete medical and health information forms concerning the child.

At what age should a child visit the dentist for the first time?

It is generally recommended that an infant be seen by a dentist by the age of 1 or within 6 months after his or her first tooth arrives. We like to see children every 6 months thereafter to build up the child’s comfort and confidence level in visiting the dentist, to monitor the development of the teeth, and to promptly treat any developing problems.

The first dental visit at that age is usually short and involves very little treatment. This visit gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist and staff in a non-threatening and friendly way. The hygienist may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the visit. She will explain the dental instruments and allow the child to ride up and down in the dental chair.

If your child is scheduled for their first dental checkup, the hygienist will clean any teeth, assess the need for fluoride and take X-rays if necessary. She will also educate parents about oral health care basics for children and discuss dental developmental issues and answer any questions.

Topics your hygienist may discuss with you might include:

  • Good oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums

  • Cavity prevention

  • Fluoride needs

  • Oral habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking)

  • Developmental milestones

  • Teething

  • Proper nutrition

  • Schedule of dental checkup visits

During the exam, your dentist will check all of your child's existing teeth for decay, examine your child's bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If indicated, the dentist or hygienist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride. He or she will also educate parents about oral health care basics for children and discuss dental developmental issues and answer any questions.

What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist?

A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. Although either type of dentist is capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric dentist, his or her staff, and even the office dècor are all geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care from a pediatric dentist should be considered. Ask your dentist or your child’s physician what he or she recommends for your child.

When should children get their first dental X-ray?

There is no hard and fast rule for when to start getting dental X-rays. Some children who may be at higher risk for dental problems (for example, those prone to baby bottle tooth decay or those with cleft lip/palate) should have X-rays taken earlier than others. Usually, most children will have had X-rays taken by the age of 5 or 6. As children begin to get their adult teeth (at about the age of 6), X-rays play an important role in helping your dentist see if all of the adult teeth are growing in the jaw, to look for bite problems, and to determine if teeth are clean and healthy.

What if my child is uncooperative?

It is our goal that all care delivered in this office be of the highest quality possible. Sometimes a child’s early visits are difficult or even impossible due to a lack of cooperation. Behavior may be influenced by many circumstances, including but not limited to: history of a previously traumatic experience, lack of maturity, developmental or behavioral abnormalities, physical disabilities, language barriers, and stubbornness. Disruptive behaviors may include hyperactivity, resistive movements, refusing to open the mouth or keep it open, turning the head, and even aggressive or physical resistance to treatment. Aggressive or physical resistance can include screaming, hitting, kicking and grabbing the dentist's or hygienist’s hands or grabbing our sharp dental instruments.

Even with an awareness of these issues, ultimately we are strangers to your child, and it may take several visits before they will begin to trust us. We will make every effort to obtain cooperative behavior by using warmth, kindness, friendliness, persuasion, gentleness, and understanding. However, occasions may arise where additional behavior management techniques may be required to eliminate or reduce disruptive behavior and to prevent the child from injuring themselves, their parents, or our staff. The behavioral management techniques we utilize in our office are available for you to download for your convenience. Please read it carefully and be prepared with any questions during your visit.

New Patient Forms and Documents

 

*These documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to access. If you're unable to read PDF files, click on the button to the right to download the file.