Your First Visit
Welcome to South Hill Pediatric Dentistry!
You have taken the first step to ensure that your child receives great oral care that will follow them for a life- time. We can't wait to meet your child, and want to explain what their first den- tal check-up will involve.
When you arrive at the office, you will find one of our friendly team members who will help you sign your child in, and navigate any paperwork that may be necessary. Please help yourself to our complimentary refreshments, including coffee and tea. There is a play area for both young and older children, and we encourage your little ones to explore our interactive reception area.
When your child is ready, one of our team members will escort you into a private area where we will review your child's medical and dental history. Following that, we will introduce you and your child to our treatment area where you will meet Dr. Becky or Dr. Erin.
Young children may feel more comfortable in our "mom and me" room, rather than the larger treatment area. This is a space where young children can play that is separate from the distractions of older children. The "mom and me" room does not have a dental chair; rather we have benches with soft cushions to allow young children to sit comfortably in their parent's lap while the Doctor examines their mouth.
The Dental Exam
If you have a child aged 3 or younger, they may be more comfortable sitting in your lap for their check-up. We call this a "knee-to- knee" exam. Our dental assistant will help you position your child so that they are facing you, with their legs wrapped around your waist, as if they are giving you a big bear hug. Dr. Erin or Dr. Becky will then sit facing you with their knees against yours, so that they can gently lay your child's head back in their lap. Parents are asked to hold their child's hands just over their tummy.
Our Doctor will examine your child's mouth with a mirror, and if necessary, clean any tartar that has accumulated on the teeth. The Doctor will also brush the teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush. She will then dry the teeth with a cotton gauze and paint on topical fluoride if indicated. Immediately after the exam, your child will be rewarded with a prize (and balloon if you choose) for doing a great job!
The exam is sometimes very quick but always very thorough. Our doctors are able to gain valuable information from this exam, and will be evaluating your child's growth and developmental status, as well as the health of their teeth and gums. Infants and young children can have developmental conditions that may present themselves in the oral cavity and might only be seen at a dental check-up. Based on the exam, dietary and hygiene recommendations are reviewed with you, as well as any information specific to your child's oral health status.
Some children are very comfortable in this position, while others are wary of having someone unfamiliar look into their mouth. It is not uncommon for a young child to cry or wiggle during the exam, but it important to realize that the exam does not hurt, and without it, a child's oral health status cannot be accurately ascertained. Both Dr. Becky and Dr. Erin are mothers of young children, and understand that minimizing the length of time your child is being examined will ensure they feel safe and comfortable at each visit.
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