Posts for: June, 2016
As a kids dentist, we know that it is important to get your child into our office as soon as possible.The AAPD highly recommends that you have your child's first dental appointment by their first birthday. There's a lot that is involved in your child's dental development so an initial visit by their first birthday is key.
Why Your Toddler Needs to See a Kids Dentist
#1 They can experience tooth decay just like adults can.
#2 Baby bottle tooth decay is common and children that take milk or juice to bed are at a greater risk of this.
#3 A positive experience now will help them to want to receive dental care.
#4 We can check to see if their teeth are growing in properly.
Plan Ahead for Their Dental Appointment
When you are planning your first dental appointment with your child, there are a few things you can do to make sure that the visit is smooth and seamless. We want to ensure that your toddler will want to come back to the dentist, which in turn will make sure that your child will have healthy and strong teeth for the duration of their time with us.
The very first thing you need to do before a dental cleaning is to prepare your child. It is important for you as a parent to remember that a dental cleaning can be one of the easiest visits for a child. By making it fun and talking about good dental health, you can help them enjoy the visit and have eager anticipation for it. Some of the things you can talk about are how they will get to pick a new toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste at the kids' dentist, and you can even talk about some of the things we will be doing. Some parents find it easiest to talk about the dentist visit in terms of stories, which makes it even more fun for children.
The most important thing for you is to project a sense of confidence in bringing them to a kids' dentist because your children pick up on your attitude. If they believe that you are incredibly confident, this will help them to be confident as well.
It doesn't matter if it is their first visit or if your child has been here several times, what doesn't change is the fact that we will need to deal with the personality of your individual children. As a kids dentist, we are specifically cognizant of the different natures of children and can help them work through fears, defiance, or even attachment issues. In your conversations with your child prior to bringing them in to see the kids' dentist, if they demonstrate any specific fears, questions, active defiance, etc., these are things you should definitely mention so that we are aware of them before the visit begins.
As a pediatric dentist in Hingham, MA, we have come across many challenges unique to our preferred patient group, children. This is because children are younger, are often found to be more observant, can be more easily influenced, and tend to have larger degrees of dental fear than adults. As a result, being a pediatric dentist means that we have to deal with dental fear and other anxieties on an entirely different level. Many times, our focus is also on the parents, who influence how a child feels about the dentist and can make a positive or negative contribution to how the dental visit goes. However, we also specialize in ensuring that a child walking through the doors of our pediatric dentist office feels secure and safe in an environment that fosters education and fun, rather than the drab or scary vision they may have in their head.
We Empower Children in Our Hingham, MA Dental Office
The first thing you will notice at our pediatric dentist office is that we treat children like they are adult patients. This is because the children are our patients, and addressing the majority of our comments to them allows them to feel like they are in more control of the situation. By involving the child in the discussions, we hope to alleviate any fear the child may be getting from the parent who is naturally over-anxious. Our staff will use descriptive but innocuous terms for some of the more complex procedures and even for some of the equipment, so they can gain the child's trust and cooperation early in the visit. This confidence-building exercise that happens on a daily basis in our pediatric dentist office ensures that whether the child is coming in for a routine cleaning or something more complex, they understand the procedure and are confident in our ability to complete the procedure without causing them undue discomfort.
We Can Help Your Child to Relax
As a pediatric dentist in Hingham, MA, we also take smaller steps that are designed to help a child relax when they come into our dentist's office. Having things like age-appropriate and size-appropriate furniture allows the child to feel like they belong at the dentist office. Other things we do include using age-appropriate books and games or special beverages, so the clients feel like they are coming to a pediatric dentist, not just an add-on to Mom and Dad's dentist. A play space, which is often a mingling area, helps the children interact with peers who are of their own age group. Knowing that they are not the only child in the room helps children visibly relax.
We Explain Things Clearly
Finally, once a child is in the dentist chair, we find that the anxiety levels tend to increase significantly. In order to counter this, we use a method of telling the child everything we are going to do and explaining it as much as possible. After we have explained it, we will show them the tools we are going to use, and sometimes will even allow the child to touch the pediatric dentist's tools so there is a familiarity. Finally, we will do the procedure, ensuring that we follow exactly what we told the child, using the equipment that we said we would use, and being careful not to make too many additions. In this way, the child understands the process and feels more in control of everything going on. At the end of the session, we will typically reward the child as a way of saying "thank you" for their cooperation. This helps to reinforce that cooperation with the pediatric dentist is a good thing.
We work to ensure that every child has a positive experience at our office and encourage you to schedule an appointment for yours.