At Scripps Pediatric Dentistry, we’re about having fun, building self-esteem,
and learning the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Hooray for healthy smiles and happiness for a lifetime!

Healthy Smiles & Happiness Start Here!

a toddlers first dental visit can be fun!

Toddler’s First Dental Visit

Parents routinely ask “When should my child first see a dentist?” The short answer is “first visit by first birthday.” That’s per guideline, and due to evidence of cavities in preschool-aged children reaching epidemic proportions. We can and want to win the battle against cavities through prevention, education, and early intervention. Scripps Pediatric Dentistry is the only practice in Southern California to be certified in Baby Oral Health Program (bOHP) developed by the authoritative University of North Carolina department of Pediatric Dentistry.

But cavities aren’t all that there is for parents to know about when it comes to their toddler’s oral health. Our Baby Oral Health Program (bOHP) for toddlers involves education and guideline drive care:


We make scheduling your toddler’s visit a breeze. You can get an appointment online, call us directly, or send us an email.


  • Positively introducing the toddler to the dental setting
  • Examination and professional cleaning
  • Anticipatory guidance on teething and oral habits (like pacifier/thumb)
  • Preventing and dealing with oral trauma
  • Recommendations on fluoride and proper hygiene and diet
  • Education on techniques to brush and care for toddler’s mouth

Preparing Your Preschooler
for their first dental visit

We want to make sure your child has a fun and memorable experience when they first come to see us. Before arriving for their appointment, you can help get their mindset right by discussing the positive aspects of dentistry with your child. Convey good feelings about first dental visits as being a part of growing up. Be cautious that children are very good at reading their parents, so if you are at all nervous about dental care, it's best to let us do the introduction when your child arrives for their first dental visit.

prepare your preschoolers first dental visit with us

Visit our Facebook page for links to Videos to watch and a list of Dr J’s favorite books to get your child in the positive mental state that would allow us to make their first dental visit a fantastic one.

Selection of words can be a big part of this when you’re speaking to your child. For example, instead of saying “The dentist will not hurt you”, try “The dentist will be very gentle”. Don't insist on “no need to be afraid”, rather say “you’ll have lots of fun”. When you are describing treatment, please avoid using the words needle, drill, grind, shot, pull, pain or any other words suggesting unpleasantness.

In fact, we recommend you just enjoy a Facebook tour of our office, view videos, and read a book or two, and leave all other “explaining” of what the child should expect for our very experienced team to explain to your child upon arrival.

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity, the good they do is inconceivable.” Joseph Addison

mommy and baby practicing for their first dental visit

What should my child and I expect at our first dental visit?

To make the most of your time, our required forms are found on our website for download and preparation in advance of the visit. Alternatively, you can arrive 15 minutes in advance of your appointment time to complete all insurance and health information forms.

The initial exam will take approximately one hour. We encourage the presence and participation of our parents during the entirety of this visit (in most cases). At the beginning of the visit, the staff will want to know any and all your specific concerns and will review the health history form with you. Your child will be introduced to our pediatric dental team, allowed time to see the office, and become comfortable before the examination. Depending on your child's need, diagnostic radiographs may be taken to determine your child’s present dental condition.

We have an amazing program called Toddler Time for our first time patients who are 3 and under. Those kids who are older will be evaluated, if no treatment is needed, the teeth will be cleaned and a professional fluoride solution will be applied. The doctor will complete the examination by evaluating the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and perform a head and neck examination. If needed, additional services will be scheduled for a later visit. At that time, any existing dental problems and proposed treatment will be discussed and oral hygiene instructions will be provided along with suggestions to help care for your child’s teeth.

Which doctor will you be meeting at your visit?

We’d like to thank you for giving us the privilege of providing the highest care possible for your child/children. It is exceptional to be able to find a team of doctors who can manage the same way, exhibit identical clinical skills and have the same treatment philosophy. While Dr J Shahangian is our founder and CEO, we can proudly say that all our doctors are specialists and Board Certified (or eligible) Pediatric Dentists (Click here to find out more). They are longtime friends and have worked together for many years.

Our doctors are an awesome leadership team. Our whole staff is dedicated to the care of your child/children and provide that excellent care by getting to know every single parent and child. We invite all our patients to become part of our Scripps Pediatric Dentistry family. We feel it’s important that every child is able to develop a relationship with either of our doctors. Being able to have that level of trust and familiarity with both doctors ensures a successful and smooth appointment. Should one of the doctors be out of the office or an emergency comes up that would require your child to be seen after hours.


Our office policy is to schedule your appointments by your unique need and procedure, not by doctor. When your child comes for their 6 month cleaning and wellchild appointment, we will schedule you with the first available doctor. We do try to accommodate your family by seeing siblings at the same time. We appreciate your understanding and support with our scheduling policies.

Being able to have both doctors in our office gives us the opportunity to be able to offer more availability in scheduling appointments for your child/children. We sincerely hope you will give us your support in upholding this course of action as we continue to expand and grow.

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