Introducing Your Child to the Dentist

There’s no substitute for a good first impression. This is especially true when it comes to your child and dental care, where an early, trusting relationship sets the stage for comfortable future visits and long-term oral health. At Happy Teeth NY, our Upper West Side pediatric dentist creates a dental home for children, providing preventive care in a friendly environment. Dr. Shan Lal uses easy-to-understand terms and informative demonstrations to help young patients become familiar with the dentist’s office.

We welcome the chance to properly introduce your child to dental care and schedule a happy first visit that promotes a healthy smile and confidence as they grow.

Dr. Lal and a patient
 "A great experience for both my kids. The dentist is patient, gentle and knows exactly what to do to make children comfortable. The kids look forward to going to the dentist!"

-Marina K.  May 13, 2017

Visiting Happy Teeth NY for the First Time

Our goal is to offer an inviting and comfortable space for your child from the moment they come in, starting with our office’s bright and colorful design. Familiarity plays an important role in reducing children’s anxiousness about their first dental visit, which is why we provide a tour for you and your child. Each of our treatment rooms also has a TV to help young patients feel even more at home.

Once your child is happy and at-ease, Dr. Lal introduces them to the idea of routine exams. Our dentist asks if they know how many teeth they have and tells them to open their mouth big, like a lion, to help count. He also includes you in this process, counting your teeth in order to show that dental exams are nothing to be concerned about.

We take these steps in order to build a relationship where your child feels safe at our office and confident in the treatment they receive.  As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Lal uses gentle techniques that have been proven to help children develop a positive outlook on dental care. This includes modeling, which involves allowing your child to observe another patient they can relate to while they complete treatment. Whenever an instrument is used as part of care, our dentist follows the concept of tell-show-do, where they are first told what the instrument is called, provided an easy-to-follow explanation of how it will be used, and given an opportunity to see how it works outside of a procedure. Finally, Dr. Lal performs the procedure, continually encouraging and communicating with your child throughout the process.

Pediatric Dentistry in Upper West SideCaring for Infants’ Oral Health at our Upper West Side Practice

We recommend bringing your child to the dentist by the time their first tooth erupts, which could occur as early as six months, or no later than their first birthday. By assessing oral health and providing counseling when your child is an infant, Dr. Lal can guide their smile’s growth and keep it protected. At this young age, your child’s first appointment might look a little different than an older child’s. This commonly involves holding your little one in your lap as our pediatric dentist checks on how their teeth and jaws are developing.

Dr. Lal also takes this time to review feeding practices, discuss any habits that may have a negative impact on oral health, and go over any teething issues your child may be experiencing. Given the common occurrence of early childhood cavities, we provide education on caring for your child’s teeth at this early stage. With the advice Dr. Lal offers on bottle feeding and nutrition, you can take an active role in preventing pediatric cavities.

Let us Help Make Your Child’s Dental Visit a Happy One -- Contact Us Today!

Making sure your child’s first trip to the dental office is a success involves many factors. From encouraging language to compassionate treatment, Dr. Lal ensures your child can relax while at Happy Teeth NY. To learn more about what we offer for children during their first dental visits, call today and speak with a member of our team.