First Visit page logo for pediatric dentist Dr. Barbara J. Merlo
Facebook Instagram Twitter
First Visit page header

Girl on the ComputerOur office, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.

The Dental Home is intended to provide a place
other than the Emergency Room for parents.

You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest that you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. However, you are welcome to observe your child during treatment. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety and can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Separation anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. This is normal and will soon diminish. Studies and experience have shown that most children over the age of 3 react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own and in an environment designed for children. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension.

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!

  Online New Patient Forms  

Printable New Patient Forms


Toothfairy letterTooth Fairy Letter

Your child will love getting this fun letter personalized for them from the Tooth Fairy. Not only is it fun, but it also helps educate them on the importance of proper oral health care and routine visits to the Tooth Fairy’s friend, the dentist.



Personalized Coloring BookPersonalized Coloring Book

Your child will love having their own personalized coloring book from the dentist, and they can use it for years to come or you can preserve it in their scrapbook or baby book. It is fun and easy to use, try it yourself by clicking on one of the coloring books below.

Boy Coloring Book | Girl Coloring Book



First Visit page tail