Child’s First Visit
Infants and Children

Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. We want to share with you the latest available methods for keeping your child healthy and safe. To help deter dental caries (cavities), it is important that infants have a first visit by their child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. During this first examination, you may be asked to hold your child for a knee-to-knee exam. Dr. Atherton will check the primary teeth for any problems. He will discuss:

  1. Techniques for keeping the gums and teeth clean
  2. Optimal nutrition for healthy teeth.
  3. Information about early childhood caries which may be due to inappropriate diet, habits or hygiene.
  4. The latest facts about finger, thumb and pacifier habits.
  5. Information on primary tooth development.
  6. How to prevent injuries to the mouth and teeth.
  7. What to do in case of an injury.
Behavior Management Techniques

Dr. Atherton’s goal is to help children cooperate with the dental treatment and to come out feeling relaxed and confident. Some children bring their parent’s fears or, their own to the dental chair. Dr. Atherton uses a variety of behavior techniques, including positive coaching, distraction, and frequent “rests” to name a few. But by far the most preferred technique is enthusiastic praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit, and Dr. Atherton gives plenty of complements for a job well done!