At the first and every visit, your child will be treated with a gentle and caring touch. By developing a personal relationship with your child, Dr. Nilfa and her team will help your child build a foundation on which good oral hygiene habits and a positive attitude towards dental health are established and nurtured.
HOW DO WE GET ACQUAINTED WITH YOUR CHILD?
At the first visit we start by meeting you and your child, reviewing his or her medical history and learning what your child’s needs and previous dental experiences are. We continue by introducing your child to the dental office, chair and instruments, using the “tell, show, do” approach. Our goal is for your child to become acquainted with the new environment at their own pace.
We understand every child is different and depending on their comfort level, we will introduce them to different aspects of the dental setting as they are ready. If possible, we will clean your child’s teeth, but we will not force a child against his or her will. We understand that each child will have a different experience and look forward to seeing your child grow as his or her relationship with the dental team develops.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST VISIT?
During the first visit, Dr. Nilfa and her team will perform a complete examination of your child’s head and neck area. We will evaluate the growth and development of the head and neck, examine all soft tissues in and outside of the mouth, and check the teeth for signs of decay.
We will take x-rays as needed for children usually starting at age four to check for decay and the presence of adult teeth. Using digital radiography, we are able to significantly minimize the amount of radiation exposure that your child receives. We will also perform a thorough cleaning on your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth and help prevent decay.
If necessary, we will discuss a treatment plan for future needs. And of course, we will be sending your child home with a new toothbrush, samples of toothpaste and fluoride rinse, and a prize before heading home with a bright smile!
In addition, Dr. Nilfa and her team will:
- Conduct a diet and nutrition evaluation and give guidance on improvement if necessary;
- Check for any oral habits such as pacifier, thumb or finger habits or sippy cup or bottle habits;
- Assess your child’s bite and give advice on orthodontic correction, as necessary;
- Discuss fluoride exposure and proper fluoride intake depending on your child’s age and risk for decay;
- Evaluate current oral hygiene habits and recommend a personalized oral hygiene regimen to prevent future decay; and
- Counsel you and your child on injury prevention with contact sports.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD HAVE A SUCCESSFUL FIRST VISIT?
Dr. Nilfa and her team strive to make each visit a positive experience for your child. Dental anxiety arises from the fear of the unknown. We do our best to make dental treatment both fun and comfortable for your child. We are able to accomplish this by the way we communicate with children.
Our team uses pleasant and non-threatening words that children can understand and readily accept. We avoid using words with negative connotations and would appreciate your cooperation in making your child’s visits positive. We ask you to please refrain from using words that may invoke unnecessary fear such as pain, hurt, shot, needle, drill and pull.
CAN I STAY WITH MY CHILD DURING THE VISIT?
Our goal is to gain your child’s confidence, overcome apprehension and encourage independence in the dental setting. We invite you to stay with your child during the initial visit. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany Dr. Nilfa and her team through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present.
However, we do recognize some younger children may need your support to get through the appointment. If you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room to silently observe from the doorway until he or she is settled. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated must remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.