Jenison Pediatric Dentist

First Dental Visit

When Should I Bring My Child?


Grand River Pediatric Dentistry follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics who state that a child should have their first dental appointment within 6 months of getting their first tooth, or by their first birthday.  It is best to see a dentist before your child is having any problems.  Forming a ‘dental home’ allows your child (and you) to become more comfortable with the dentist and allows our team to get to know your child and family in order to provide the best possible care.  However, we welcome pediatric dental patients at any age!

How Should I Prepare?

Before for the First Dental Appointment

A dental visit is a new experience for your child, so we ask that you help to prepare them as to what to expect for their first time. Here are a few tips to try to help make your child more at ease with their first dental visit:

  • Give your child a sneak preview. Bring your child with you to your own dental checkup to show them what to expect, or bring them to our Jenison, MI office so they can see where they will be going to a few days before the actual appointment.
  • Timing is everything. Pick a time of day that is good for your child; sometimes children do better in the mornings when they are well-rested.
  • Learn more about it. Lots of children’s books and online resources are geared toward teaching more about dental health and dentist visits.
  • Play around. Take turns being the dentist and the patient with your child or practice on a stuffed animal or doll. Examine each other’s teeth with a mirror or use your fingers to count each other’s teeth so that your child will be familiar with the feel of a dentist examination.
  • Provide comfort. You can bring a book or a favorite toy from home for familiarity.
  • Don’t over-explain. Our Jenison, MI pediatric dental team has special, non-scary ways of explaining to your child what we are doing. Avoid using words that may be alarming for some kids like “drill,” “x-ray,” or “shot”. Instead, we use words like “brush,” “take pictures,” and use “sleepy juice.”  Try to avoid comments that may seem reassuring such as “Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you,” as this may alarm your child.
  • Remember to relax! You have come to the right place and you can place your trust in pediatric dentists, Dr. Condit and Dr. Vollmar and our wonderful staff to take exceptional care of your little one.

What to Expect?

During the First Dental Appointment

Our Jenison, MI dental team is prepared to make your child’s first dental visit a positive experience:

  • If your child is having a hard time sitting in the dental chair, we may suggest a different approach. Don’t worry, we have seen this before!
  • We try to keep the first appointment short and it may involve only a limited amount of treatment. This allows your child to get to know us in a non-threatening and friendly way and build trust for future appointments.
  • Similar to a well-baby check with the pediatrician, much of the appointment will be a discussion between you and our team. We will show you how to clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs, review preventive recommendations and answer any questions that you may have.
  • Pediatric dentists, Dr. Condit and Dr. Vollmar will check your child’s teeth, their bite, and look for potential problems in the gums, jaw or oral tissues.
  • If indicated, our pediatric dental team may take x-rays, clean your child’s teeth and assess the need for fluoride.

Contact Grand River Pediatric Dentistry for more information.