George H. Bullard, DDS - Pediatric Dentistry

First Visit

Download Patient Form

At what age should my child first visit the dentist?

IMG_1132_WEB_RESA “baby wellness visit” is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Dental Association around the child’s first birthday. This is especially important for your “first” child so we can make you comfortable with normal growth and development, feeding and oral habits. We offer a complimentary “Well Baby Check” for children under the age of 18 months at our office. At this visit, we will do an oral screening, provide you with oral hygiene instructions, and discuss pacifier, finger, or other oral habits to start your child off with the right habits. After your child has their Well Baby Check, we suggest a periodic six month routine checkup. Once Dr. George feels the child is ready to begin cleanings, these will continue to proceed every six months. This age varies from child to child.

What will happen during my child’s first visit?

IMG_1110_WEB_RESWe refer to the first appointment as what we call a “New Patient Experience.” It begins when our new patient coordinator greets you and your child in the reception area and escorts you to a special room where we can get to know you both. After reviewing your needs and questions, she will bring the doctor into the room to meet you. The Doctor will perform a complete dental exam which includes checking for cavities and gum disease, checking the bite for correct alignment of the jaws, checking the development of the teeth, and x-rays will be taken based on the needs of your child. After the doctor and you are done talking, the specially trained coordinator will take your family on a tour of the office. You will see all the fun features including the movies on the ceiling that play during your child’s visit, the special chairs that take your child for a “ride” so that they are comfortable for their visit, and Dr. George’s cool x-ray machine that takes pictures of their teeth. Our main goal is to make sure that your child is comfortable with the setting and staff before any work is done. The appointment also includes a final consultation to discuss any further questions or necessary dental treatment. Every appointment ends with a special photo of your child with the doctor and a trip to the toy box for a job well done!

At the end of the New Patient Exam we schedule your child’s first cleaning. Before any procedures are started, we show and tell your child what we are going to do. We encourage their active participation in the visit by asking questions about their school or daycare, hobbies, friends or anything special they would like to share with us. Parents are encouraged to join their child during their visits. Mom and Dad are usually amazed how wonderful their children listen and behave during their dental visit. Occasionally, a child may cry during some part of the visit. This is normal behavior for a child going through a new, unfamiliar experience. Our compassionate staff is there to help then through to a smiling finish.

What do I tell my child about seeing the dentist?

GIMG_1115_WEB_RES_NO_BLURive your child the opportunity to hear of pleasant dental experiences, only. It is best to tell a child about a dental visit the night before the appointment. Of course, always refer to the Doctor as “Our Friend, Dr. George”.

Please convey the feeling that dental visits are a part of growing up. Don’t offer rewards or indicate in any way that there is something to fear. Should you try to bolster a child’s courage prior to the dental visit, it may have the opposite effect and frighten them. We offer a safe haven for your child; a professional dental office with an informal atmosphere for the comfort of all children. Don’t let the child know you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist and don’t use a dental visit as a punishment or threat. A visit to the dentist should be a delightful adventure for a young child.

If your child should ask searching questions, explain that the Doctor is only going to look at their teeth, and will always explain everything that is going to be done before it happens. In discussing dentistry, please do not use the words: “needle”, “shot”, “drill”, “pull”, “hurt”, or any other words that might have an unpleasant meaning.

Do I stay with my child during the visit?

IMG_1164_WEB_RESYes, you may accompany your child through any and all types of visits (with the exception of a hospital, general anesthesia setting). Dr. George’s philosophy may be different from other general and pediatric dentists. He encourages the family to be with the patient at all times.

We also have a waiting room for parents whose child prefers to be a “big kid” and see the dentist on their own. We leave it up to the family to decide.

In some situations, a child may benefit from separation during the visit. Dr. George may suggest using the parent as a “reward” for good behavior. So the child will come back alone and the parent will be invited to come back after a few minutes. If that is the case, we ask that you allow our staff to accompany your child through the dental experience.

Children’s behavior in the dental office:

PIMG_1191_LOW_RESleasant visits to the dental office help a child establish trust and confidence that will last a lifetime. Pediatric dentists and their staff have been specially trained to help young, apprehensive children feel good about seeing the dentist and taking care of their teeth. Friendly, compassionate professionals and bright, cheerful office surroundings are all there to help your child feel comfortable and at ease with visiting the dentist. We recommend scheduling younger children in the morning, when they are more rested and cooperative.

How often should regular visits be scheduled?

Ordinarily, periodic recall appointments, which include an examination, preventive dental education, cleaning and fluoride treatments will be recommended twice a year and are usually scheduled every six months. The frequency of dental visits will partly depend on your child’s eating habits; how clean his or her teeth are kept; and if he/she has a history of dental decay.

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!

Click here to e-mail us with any questions or comments.