Melissa Mullane Padgett, DDS

General Dentist Accepting Children



First Visit

12 Month Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children have their first dental visit no later than 12 months of age.

At this age, Dr. Melissa will examine the child's teeth that are present, discuss eruption patterns, and look for the presence of plaque. She will then discuss with the caregiver how to care for the child's teeth, how to prevent early childhood cavities and how to handle dental emergencies.

At this age, a quick knee-to-knee exam will be done and if possible, a cleaning may be performed. The dental chair can be intimidating to young children. Additionally, infants and toddlers usually do not hold still long enough to safely sit in the dental chair. At our office, for those young infants, toddlers and sometimes preschool aged children who cannot safely sit in the dental chair, we have the parent or caregiver help out. This position is called "knee-to-knee": the child will sit facing the parent, belly button to belly button, and then the child will lay back into Dr. Melissa's or one of the hygienist's lap. This way, we are in our normal 'working' position behind the child, but the child is still is the comfort and safety of someone familiar. Crying usually occurs at this age, but that's okay! Their mouths will be open!

As you can see, Dr. Melissa can see into the girl's (Lauren’s) mouth to do her exam while the child is being held by her big sister (Katie) whom she is familiar with.

18 Months to Three Years

If this is their first visit, the goal is to have the child sit in the dental chair alone. However, if needed, the child may lay on his/her caregiver while the caregiver lies down in the dental chair. If behavior is a concern, a knee-to-knee exam may be performed. A cleaning is usually attempted at this visit. If the child does not cooperate with the dental handpiece, the cleaning can be performed with a normal toothbrush. Flossing and a fluoride treatment will also be attempted.

Four to Five Years

If the first visit is not until age 4 or 5, the child should be able to sit in the dental chair unassisted. An exam, cleaning and fluoride treatment will be conducted. Around age 4 1/2, we will try and take bite-wing x-rays. These are the x-rays that show us how well (or not well) flossing is being completed.

Emergency Visits

For a first time emergency visit, if the child has never seen a dentist, an exam and possible x-ray may be all that is done that day. The goal of this visit is to make the child both comfortable with his/her emergency, as well as with visiting a dentist. Extensive dental procedures may be postponed to another visit.

For a first time emergency visit but the child has seen a dentist in the past, work may be completed at this time based on time in the schedule. If we are fitting you in amongst our regularly scheduled patients, you may have a procedure to get your child comfortable first, and then reappointed so that we can spend an adequate amount of time fixing your child's problem.


Please download and print the new patient registration forms before your first visit. Thank you!

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