Your First Visit

Welcome! Dr. Sarah and her team are excited to be a part of your child’s dental journey and will do everything possible to make it a positive experience. We are accepting New Patient Appointments. Call today to schedule an appointment!
Feel free to navigate our website to learn more about our office and how seeing a Pediatric Dentist is the right choice for your child. Dr. Sarah can’t wait to meet you soon!

Establishing a Dental Home

At Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Sarah, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all agree that a “Dental Home” should be established for every child by their first birthday. Kids who have a Dental Home at younger ages are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care, and are more likely to avoid future dental issues and diseases. They also learn early to love the dentist and are less likely to have fear and phobias with coming to see us.

Welcome to our Office!

The first dental visit is a very exciting time for a child and their parents! Bringing your child to a pediatric dentist at a very young age allows him or her to meet the dentist and become familiar with the dental office setting. This is so important because it encourages a healthy relationship between your child and the dentist, provides an opportunity for parents to learn how to implement good oral hygiene habits at home and to review the importance of a healthy diet for their children, and also helps to prevent cavities before they even begin. Once a Dental Home is established, it’s important to follow up for exams and cleanings every six months to maintain good oral health and to keep those sugar bugs away and cavities at bay!

Why see a Pediatric Dentist?

A Pediatric Dentist is the best dentist for your child’s Dental Home because kids not only have different dentition than adults, but they also have specific dental, developmental, and behavioral needs that are better addressed with a specialist.

A Pediatric Dentist, like Dr. Sarah, is a specialist dedicated to the oral health of children and the monitoring of their facial growth and development. Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry is focused on treating kids from infancy through adolescence, as well as patients with special needs.

Why is a Dental Home so Important for your Child?

  • To establish a relationship with the dentist in order to receive Comprehensive Oral Health care including Acute Care and Preventive services
  • To develop individualized Preventive Dental Health Program based on a Caries-Risk Assessment
  • Receive Anticipatory Guidance regarding growth and development
  • Plan for Acute Dental Trauma (Emergency Care)
  • Review Dietary Counseling and how that relates to your child’s oral health
  • Referrals to dental specialists (for example, an orthodontist or oral surgeon) when care cannot directly be provided within the Dental Home

Your Child’s First Visit with Dr. Sarah:

✓ New patient journeys begin with us by introductions to our friendly team, kid-friendly office setting, and fun atmosphere to make you and your child feel right at home

✓ Dr. Sarah will also address any childhood habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, or prolonged use of the bottle and review how that might affect your child’s health and development

✓ We use “Tell, Show, Do” to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to you and your child

✓ We go over your child’s medical history and ask any supplemental questions to get a better understanding of your child’s overall health and wellness

✓ We address any concerns and answer any questions you might have while also providing advice about good oral hygiene and tips for home

✓ Dr. Sarah will go over her findings in full detail. She will describe your child’s current oral health status and provide recommendations and treatment options if anything needs to be addressed

✓ We also ask questions specific to your child’s teeth and oral health to understand their future risk of developing cavities. This information is not only helpful for us but it is also for you as a parent to better understand the specific dental needs of your child

✓ Dr. Sarah will examine your child’s teeth, gums, jaw, bite, and oral tissues. A thorough but gentle cleaning will also be completed

✓ If needed, we will take X-rays, or what we like to call, “pictures,” of your child’s teeth

✓ We will explain what you can expect for your child’s next visit and determine the appropriate time and date to accomplish your child’s prevention, treatment (if indicated), and maintenance goals

What to expect

The First Dental Visit usually includes a gentle exam of your child’s mouth, teeth, and gums. We will also clean your child’s teeth, apply a fluoride treatment if recommended, teach you and your child how to brush and floss properly at home, and answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health. Dr. Sarah will help you determine if X-rays, or “pictures,” are needed at the first visit based on your child’s age, dental development, history, and dental needs.


In order to make the first visit as successful as possible, we truly believe that parents are important partners in helping us achieve this goal (and every visit thereafter)! We strongly encourage you to be involved in your child’s dental experience and welcome you back to join us during their first visit. After a certain age, we recommend you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience to build trust and patient autonomy, which help to encourage positive behavior outcomes and develop a good relationship with the dentist. Our goal is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome fear and apprehension. These early experiences are instrumental in shaping your child’s perspective of what it means to “Go to the Dentist” and we want to be a part of this opportunity to make it as fun, positive, and memorable as possible! However, if you prefer, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room in the future as we have an “Open Door Policy.” We want to make both you and your child feel as comfortable as possible!

How should you prepare your child for their First Dental Visit?

Here’s some tips and guidelines we can recommend:

Take another adult along:

Sometimes babies get fussy when getting their teeth cleaned and examined. Having another adult available to soothe the baby allows the parent to ask Dr. Sarah questions and to listen to Dr. Sarah’s recommendations

(Please check back closer to your child’s appointment time for the most up-to-date COVID policies and guidelines)

Leave other children at home:

Other kids can distract the parent and cause babies to fuss more. Leaving siblings at home (when possible) makes the first visit much easier for everyone

Avoid negative words/threatening language:

Pediatric dentists and staff are trained to avoid using words like “shots,” “drills,” and “bleeding.” It is so important for you to be on our team in order to make this as positive for your child as possible. Please choose friendlier words when describing the dentist to give your child a positive association when coming to our office. Scroll down for a list of Dr. Sarah-approved Positive Dental Terminology!

Give positive explanations:

Teach your kids about going to the dentist, but keep it fun and light. Explaining that the dentist “keeps teeth healthy and strong” is much better than “dentists drill and pull out teeth if there’s a cavity”

Explain what will happen:

Prepping your child for their first visit can be fun and will set the stage to make it as stress-free as possible. Age-appropriate books and videos are a great way to do this. Here are some examples:

    ✓ Elmo Visits the Dentist
    ✓ Daniel Goes to the Dentist (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)
    ✓ The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
    ✓ Dentist Trip (Peppa Pig)

Worried About Your Child’s Anxiety?

Sometimes new places and experiences can make kids nervous and uncooperative, and that’s okay! We will be patient, nurturing, and take our time to develop a relationship with your child. Our goal is to go above and beyond to make sure your child’s First Dental Visit is as fun, comfortable, and as meaningful as possible. For children who are more apprehensive than others, we will take it slower and may even recommend a separate appointment to “desensitize” him or her. This will help them learn more about going to the dentist at their own pace, we will have more time to teach them about the fun tools we use, and hopefully they can see how fun it can be to get their teeth cleaned!

Dr. Sarah-approved dental words and verbiage:

Tooth counter” = explorer
Sugar bugs” = cavities/bacteria

Mr. Thirsty” or “Straw” = suction
Tooth pillow” = mouth prop or bite block

Tooth vitamins” = fluoride
Pictures” = X-rays


If you are looking for more tips or advice on how to prepare your child for their First Visit or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Pediatric Dental Team at Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry. We look forward to serving you and supporting the long-term dental health and development of your child. We are conveniently located for families living in Sycamore, DeKalb, Rockford, Elburn and beyond. We can’t wait to help your child smile more in Sycamore!

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