At East Tennessee Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that every child is unique and our office is designed with that in mind. We want to establish a positive relationship with your child and to evaluate his/her dental health. Our office has highly trained staff and a fun environment to make your child’s visit comfortable and enjoyable. We will help your child learn about the dental visit, taking one step at a time so that he/she will be as prepared as possible. ETPD4KIDS is a fun place with games, toys, books, and televisions to entertain your child during his/her visit.

We encourage you to accompany your child/children throughout the visit, to see what we see inside the mouth, and to help your child feel at ease. The initial visit, which should last about an hour, consists of x-rays, a cleaning, a fluoride treatment, and an examination by Dr. Jessica. You can find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page.


X-rays and Cleaning

If appropriate, we will take x-rays (pictures or radiographs) of your child’s teeth. X-rays are vital and essential in completely and properly diagnosing cavities and other dental problems. Without x-rays, certain serious dental conditions can and will be missed. We definitely limit your child’s exposure to the minimum amounts necessary to ensure a proper diagnosis. Your child’s teeth will be cleaned and then protected with a topical fluoride application. By using various techniques such as “Tell-Show-Do” and age appropriate words (such as “tooth tickler” and “Mr. Thirsty”), we can help your child understand and feel more comfortable during the cleaning.

Examination of the Teeth & Oral Cavity

Finally, Dr. Jessica will examine (count) your child’s teeth. Using a “tooth counter” and the “baby tooth mirror,” we’ll show both your child and yourself all the discoveries that we find. Appropriate oral hygiene and diet instructions will be given, specific to your child’s needs. Parents are welcome to either relax in the reception room or accompany their child into the operatory area. We do need to have a parent or legal guardian in the operatory for all examination and emergency evaluation appointments in order to get your written, informed consent for any other needed treatment for your child.

During the examination appointment, we will examine the erupted teeth for cavities, the gums for infection, and the other mouth tissues for any abnormalities. We will evaluate the way your child’s teeth come together (the occlusion) and check for sufficient room for the permanent teeth to erupt. We will evaluate the effects of any childhood habits such as thumb sucking, use of a pacifier, or prolonged use of the baby bottle. At the end of the visit, we will thoroughly discuss all of our findings, the necessary treatment plan, as well as all dental issues pertinent to protecting the well-being of your child’s oral health.

Many parents want to know how often their child needs to come to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental diseases. At each check-up, we will review your child’s growth and development and have recommendations specific to your child’s age and level of development such as the need for orthodontics.

At the first visit we will be able to answer your specific questions such as:

• Does my child have any cavities?
• When will my child’s teeth come in?
• Are oral habits such as thumb sucking harmful?
• What’s the best way to brush?
• Does my child need braces?

Please feel free to address any concerns or questions that you may have during your first visit to our office. Good health depends in large part upon the development of good habits such as sensible eating and sleeping routines, exercise, and recreation. Dental health also depends upon good habits that include proper tooth brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist, and the avoidance of excessive sweets. Also, it can be helpful to discuss with your child the positive aspects of going to the dentist, since you play a large part in preparing your child for the first visit to our office.