When should my child first see a dentist for kids?
We recommend that a child first see a dentist within six months of the first baby tooth coming into the mouth and no later than one year of age. This initial visit allows your child to establish a “Dental Home”—a place for your child to grow and be supported throughout childhood and adolescence. Children who have a dental home established early are less likely to form cavities and are more likely to get the appropriate preventive and regular oral health care that they need.
The first dental visit and those that follow will be a more positive experience if you bring your child at an early age. At Carolina Pediatric Dentistry, we want to teach your child healthy habits that will keep their teeth strong, beautiful, and pain free throughout their lives. If he or she is old enough to understand, tell your child about their first dental visit, letting them know that the dentist and other team members will explain each procedure as well as answer any questions. Our doctors will gently and compassionately guide your child on his or her dental journey.
We ask that you do not use words around your child that may cause fear. This includes words such as “needle,” “shot,” “drill,” “hurt,” and “pull.” We employ kid-friendly terms in our office such as “wiggle” (pull/extract), “sleepy juice” (shot) and “red” (blood). Please ask the dental team if you have any questions about what words are best to avoid.
During your child’s first dental visit, we invite you to stay with your child during the exam. In future appointments, we ask that you allow team members to accompany your child through the dental experience. This allows us to get to know your child better and to establish a bond of trust, even when you are not present. For the safety of all patients, other children not currently receiving dental treatment should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
With Carolina Pediatric Dentistry as your child’s dental home, your child has an option for dental emergency management other than the emergency room. In the event that your child experiences trauma to his or her mouth, please contact our office immediately (919-570-0180). Check out our Emergencies Page for more information about dental emergencies.
What should you bring with you to your child's first visit?
At your child’s visit, please bring a copy of the insurance card, your license or picture ID, and any referral form or x-rays from a dentist or doctor. You should also bring an appropriate form of payment.
Additional Items to bring if indicated:
- Clearance letter from a pediatrician or cardiologist if your child has a heart condition, including a murmur
- Court documents if you are a foster parent or are the guardian over a child who is not your biological child.