Providence Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

What is a dental home, why does it matter, and what can I expect for my child’s first dental visit at Providence PDO?

First Dental Visit - Providence Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics logo

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines the dental home as the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way. In short, the goal is to create a safe space for you and your child to have their dental needs met. Pediatric dentists undergo extensive advanced specialty training for a minimum of two extra years after dental school in the specialty of pediatrics so that your child can receive the highest level of expert pediatric dental care. Young children are incredibly impressionable, and at Providence Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our goal is to foster long-term relationships and create positive memories when it comes to your child’s dental experience. The earlier we can establish that healthy rapport, the better. In order to do so, the AAPD recommends establishing a “dental home” with a dentist within 6 months of your child’s tooth cutting through their gums, or by their first birthday. This way, we can develop a relationship with your child from a very young age and continue to foster that positive relationship every 6 months. We want your child to live a cavity-free life and be excited about seeing the dentist!

Regardless of what age we first meet your child, we will do everything we can to create a positive dental experience. We will start your child’s first dental visit with a tour of our office to familiarize your family with our team and facilities. We have both an open pediatric bay, which provides a more open concept where children benefit from modeling behavior, or three fully private pediatric dental rooms to give you and your family more privacy if desired.

We will create a tailored and customized approach to the first dental visit based on your child’s needs, but you can expect a combination of: a dental cleaning (called a “prophylaxis”), radiographs as needed, professional fluoride treatment, a head and neck exam and oral cancer screening performed by Dr. Kaitlin, and oral hygiene education. In younger children and toddlers, we may suggest a “knee-to-knee exam” based on level of cooperation. Your child will be seated on your lap facing you for the exam, while laying their head back in Dr. Kaitlin’s lap so that a thorough exam can be performed. If your child wants to lay back in the dental chair for their visit, they are welcome to relax and watch a movie during the appointment using our wireless headphones and ceiling-mounted TVs. We welcome all parents back for the initial dental visit so that we can address any dental concerns you may have, but you are also invited to relax in our reception area and enjoy a complimentary coffee or sparkling water on us if your child wishes to come back on their own! Your child can then visit our prize wall to get a prize and a sticker, a Providence PDO t-shirt and a balloon for an awesome first visit. While we set aside plenty of time for this first visit, these are typically a “short and sweet” visits so that we can reinforce and continue positive dental visits.

Click here to schedule your child’s first dental visit with our pediatric dentist, Dr. Kaitlin. We look forward to meeting you!