Dr. Nam’s Philosophy
Lifelong dedication to dental health and wellness begins with the attitudes we form about dental treatment from our first dental visit and forward. Your child’s first impression with dental care can shape these attitudes and perspectives for years to come. This is why at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Dr. Nam is committed to making this first dental visit–and subsequent visits–fun, informative and educational. Dr. Nam’s goal is to foster an atmosphere that radiates safety, comfort, open communication and compassion for her patients and the families involved in their care. Her entire team is dedicated to nurturing positive, fear-free attitudes about dental health that are sure to create a strong foundation for oral wellness and health that will last a lifetime.
What to Expect at Your First Dental Visit
The goal of the first dental visit is for you and your child to meet Dr. Nam and to become comfortable with her, the staff and the treatment environment in a non-threatening and friendly way. This is not a visit where your child will undergo lengthy treatment, but they will have a comprehensive exam so we can assess their needs. Dr. Nam will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite and evaluate any potential problems she may see related to the gums, oral tissues and jaw. X-rays will be taken so Dr. Nam has a full view of your child’s dental health and current development. X-rays play an important role in helping Dr. Nam to 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. A simple dental cleaning and fluoride treatment is typically part of this first dental visit as well so the child can become acquainted with some of our tools and treatments. This appointment will also include a discussion with you and your child covering the oral healthcare basics and any goals or questions you may have about treatment.
Common Topics Addressed During the First Dental Visit
- Oral hygiene habits for cavity prevention
- Fluoride needs and education
- Oral habits (tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, biting nails)
- Milestones to look for
- Teeth eruption schedules
- Dental checkup and frequency
- Medical history and information gathering
- Parent role and expectations
- Technology and tools
The Parental Role
Parents play an essential role in helping their children establish good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. The foundation for good oral hygiene is laid down during the first few years of life. Poor diet and poor toothbrushing habits during the first two years of life are related to tooth decay in children. The development of cavities in primary teeth correlates with the likelihood that your child will develop cavities in their permanent teeth. The good news is, through preventive care and action you can prevent the majority of dental challenges in your child’s teeth. Dr. Nam will work with you to establish an effective oral hygiene routine early in your child’s life to lay a foundation for strong, healthy teeth for years to come. Parents are role models for their children and through example and instruction you will teach them the importance of oral hygiene. Toothbrushing should be presented as a habit and an integral part of the daily hygiene routine. Children respond best to praise and affection, and learn best by imitating their parents. Physiological and mental development affects the oral care of children so your positive, patient, caring influence will impact them in unimaginable ways.
Initially, even after your children are shown how to brush and floss their teeth they are going to need your help and supervision. As a matter of fact, parents should lead and supervise toothbrushing for the first 9 years of life. For the first two years of life, parents should brush their child’s teeth with positive and encouraging attitudes. Children, typically, begin brushing their teeth around three years of age, but when they are finished brushing a parent should rebrush hard to clean areas until around the age of six and continue to supervise until age 9.
We ask parents to always be very open with us about their successes and challenges with their child’s dental care. The more we know, the more we can help! Commit to bringing your child every six months for a cleaning and examination to help Dr. Nam and her staff build a relationship of trust with your child, monitor the development of teeth, and prevent any decay from developing. We want to create a dental home for your child that they always feel comfortable visiting and provide staff that they feel support and help them in their dental health goals and needs.