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Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

What to Expect During Your First Visit to the Dentist!

by Dr. Steven Whittemore | Published November 30, 2021

Going to the dentist is something we all have to do. Neglecting your teeth can lead to painful cavities, bad breath, and much worse. Without healthy teeth, life can be a struggle, which is why it’s important to start visiting your dentist early. A child’s first dental visit can be daunting for both parent and child. Learning what to expect during a visit to the dentist can alleviate some of the child’s anxiety. 

Things You Will See Around a Pediatric Dental Office

Toys and Games in the Waiting Area

Similar to other pediatric medical offices, dental offices have toys and games to keep kids of all ages occupied. If no games are present (either due to Covid-19 measures or otherwise), most pediatric dental offices put thought into the design of the room to make it feel welcoming for young children. 


Photo from Sensory Edge 

The Exam Room 

Pediatric exam rooms are designed to maximize the comfort of the patient. These rooms are often brightly colored and have a tv to distract and calm the patient. 

 
Photo from Hennepin Healthcare

X-Ray Machines 

You may have already seen an x-ray if you have broken a bone. The X-ray equipment used at the dentist is different from what you see at a doctor. During a dental X-ray, the dentist will have the patient bite down on a piece of plastic or paper. Another machine will then expose the x-rays to get a complete picture of the mouth.

Photo from dentalhealthsociety

X-Ray Bib

When it’s your turn for an X-ray, the staff may have you put on a bib. It is slightly weighted but pretty comfortable. The bib provides protection against the small amount of radiation from the X-ray.  

Photo  from zzmedical

Teeth Cleaning Tools

These dental tools gently clean your teeth. The assistants are trained to use these tools carefully. One of the tools is a tiny mirror to see your entire mouth. The other tools pick off plaque and food particles. They are all shaped differently to get into certain areas. 

Photo from vesinstruments

How the exam will go

  1. X-Rays First! When the appointment starts, patients will go to an x-ray room. The x-rays will show us any cavities that appear. After we get the x-rays, it’s time to go to the exam room
  2.  Routine Dental Cleaning. In the exam room, a dental assistant will start cleaning the child’s teeth. Parents are welcome to sit with their kids during this part of the exam. 
  3.  Pediatric Dentist Examination. Once the cleaning is over, the dentist will check for cavities and other issues. 
  4.  Fluoride. After the dentist leaves, if the parent approves, the assistant will apply fluoride for extra protection. 
  5.  Questions & Consultation. At the end of the appointment, the dentist will meet with the parent and child to discuss oral hygiene and further treatments. During this time we will go over brushing their teeth. We also have a handy tooth brushing guide that will be useful for after you leave.
  6.  Pick a Parting Gift! After meeting with the dentist, it’s time to pick a prize and head home. 

Schedule a Pediatric Dental Appointment

The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa is dedicated to comfort while providing top-quality care. Dr. Steven D. Whittemore and his team of dental assistants are passionate about helping children develop life-long dental care habits.

Schedule your appointment with him today

Also posted in Blog