Pediatric Dentistry of Columbia

(410) 740-0144
10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 337
Columbia, MD 21044

Growing happy, healthy smiles for infants, children, and adolescents

Pediatric Dentistry of Columbia

The First Visit

Growing happy, healthy smiles begins with good oral care during infancy. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that your child visit the dentist by his or her first birthday and establish a “dental home.”

A dental home is an ongoing relationship between a dentist, patient, and parents in order to maintain comprehensive oral care. Establishing a dental home early in life can help prevent cavities in the future due to access to ongoing dental care from the start.

Our goal at Pediatric Dentistry of Columbia is to prevent dental disease and foster a lifetime of healthy habits from the beginning. Therefore, we strive to build a trusting relationship with you and your child that will last for years to come.

We believe that the Infant Oral Health Exam and the establishment of a dental home at the age of one provide an excellent opportunity for us to focus on preventive care. We are able to render valuable information about:

  • nursing, bottle and sippy cup use
  • ways to take care of your baby’s teeth and keep them healthy and cavity free
  • what to expect in the following months regarding their dental development (anticipatory guidance)

An overview of your first visit to Pediatric Dentistry of Columbia:

We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment to fill out the registration and history forms. If you would like to save time, you may fill the forms out at home and bring them with you.

Initially, Dr. Doshi will review your child’s medical and dental history with you. Certain medical conditions affect dental health and how we may or may not perform dental treatment. She will also ask you about any particular concerns you may have regarding your child’s oral health.

At Pediatric Dentistry of Columbia, we try very hard to reinforce positive behaviors and to create an overall fun first experience for our patients. We use the "Tell-Show-Do" technique to help your child feel comfortable and understand what will happen next. Dr. Doshi strives to engage the children, listen to their concerns and reassure them as needed. She will look at your child’s teeth briefly to determine if any radiographs are necessary and whether a cleaning and fluoride treatment should be done at this time.

Once any treatment is completed (a cleaning, x-rays, and topical fluoride as individually needed), we will review proper brushing and flossing instructions with you and your child. Dr. Doshi will then do a complete examination, which includes evaluation of the teeth and gums, a head and neck assessment and a preliminary orthodontic evaluation.

Dr. Doshi will review her findings with you and discuss any further treatment recommendations. Parents will receive nutritional, diet, and habit counseling, as well as home care instructions customized for each child's oral hygiene needs. We will allow enough time to ensure that all concerns from both parent and child have been addressed.

If your child needs further treatment, we will do our best to design a treatment plan to fit your time and budget concerns.

First Visit Pointers for Parents

We understand that the first dental visit at any age can be an intimidating time for a child and their parents. Children can often sense their parents' anxiety, so if you are relaxed with your child, their first-ever dental appointment will be much less stressful for them. If possible, we recommend that you start preparing for the appointment at home.

Here are some helpful do's and don'ts that will help make your child's first visit to the dentist less stressful:

  • If your child is old enough to understand, do tell them the dentist will "count" and "brush" their teeth
  • Do read books like "The Berenstein Bears Go to the Dentist" and "Dora Goes to the Dentist" to help familiarize them with the concept of going to a dentist
  • Don't use phrases like "it won't hurt," because your child may not have even considered pain until hearing the word "hurt"
  • Don't use words like "shot," "needle," "drill," and "x-ray"
  • If your child asks a lot of questions, do tell them that "Dr. Doshi and her helpers are very nice and will answer all your questions

Once you are here, let Dr. Doshi and her staff guide your child through the appointment. By being a silent observer, you allow Dr. Doshi and her staff to establish a relationship with your child, and to do what they do best: make your child feel comfortable, special, and grow up to be happy, healthy, and confident dental patients.