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The Dental Ark
Dr. Nanni Baker & Dr. Yvonne Maldonado
11965 Pellicano Drive
El Paso, TX 79936
Ph. (915) 855-2337
Fx. (915) 231-1838

Mon-Thu: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Fri: 7:30am - 11:30am

The First Visit

The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child's first dental visit at 1 year of age. While this may seem very young and your child may only have a few visible teeth, there are many other things you should know. These are frequently asked questions and comments that we will review with you upon your child's first visit.

  • Should I be brushing already?
  • Does my child need fluoride?
  • What is the easiest way to hold my child so I can brush their teeth?
  • My child does not let me brush their teeth!
  • When should I stop the bottle?
  • Is a pacifier bad?
  • Is a thumb sucking habit bad?
  • Can I safely use a sippy cup?
  • Does breast milk cause tooth decay?

If your child has Medicaid, you are able to participate in the exciting new first dental home program. This program allows you to bring your child at 6 months of age and every 3 months until the age of three.

Not only does this first visit help you take better care of your child's teeth, it also helps to familiarize your child to our surroundings. The first visit is certainly more pleasant when it is a planned familiarization appointment rather than one made for traumatic injury or a toothache.

Our entire dental vocabulary is geared toward children so as not to make their first dental visits so scary. During this visit, depending on your child's age, we will take "Pictures" (x-rays), count their teeth with the "Tooth Counter" (explorer) and use the "Barbie Mirror" to check for "Sugar Bugs" (cavities). If possible we may use the "Tooth Tickler" (prophy angle) to clean their teeth and "Mr. Thirsty" (suction) to remove "Tooth Polish" (prophy paste) and "Tooth Vitamins" (fluoride).

We will never lie to a child but we will use words and descriptions that will prepare them for frightening sounds, feelings or smells. Our entire staff is trained in a behavior technique known as Tell-Show-Do. It works great, and there are no surprises!

Please remember when discussing a dental visit with your child, never frighten your child or threaten them with going to the dentist. Do not use words like shots, needles, pull, hurt or drill. Finally, if you are apprehensive about going to the dentist try not to let your child know. Apprehensive parents are the primary cause of apprehensive children.