All children including those with special needs are welcome and seen in our office. We are committed to making your child’s first and future visits as fun and pleasurable as possible. The entire staff strives to create a non-threatening environment that your child will look forward to returning to.
You play a big role in your child’s visit and there are some things you can do to help create a positive experience. First, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. Second, tell your child that we are going to “count” and “brush” their teeth. Tell them that we may “take pictures” of their teeth as well. This helps explain the visit in words they are familiar with. Last, it is best if you refrain from using words around your child that may cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “shot”, “pull”, “drill”, or “hurt”. These and other similar words can make it very difficult to gain the child’s cooperation and confidence.
Our office as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child visit the dentist around their first birthday. At this visit we will do a brief exam which will allow us to evaluate your child's growth and development and make sure their teeth are erupting normally. We may also review oral hygiene instructions and discuss other issues such as bottle use, pacifier use, oral habits, and/or nutrition.
For the child that is 3 years and older, the visit usually consists of a comprehensive examination, x-rays, cleaning, and a fluoride application. We will review oral hygiene procedures, habits, and nutrition. We will also discuss any treatment needs and answer any questions you might have about your child’s teeth or their development.
Do I Stay With My Child During the Visit?
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you try to allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with most children when parents are not present. However, if you choose, you may come with your child to the treatment room. We do ask that only one parent accompanies the child and that you offer support in the form of a quiet observer. Our goal is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension so that the visit will be a pleasant one. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
Your child’s appointment always concludes with praise for a job well done, a sticker and a balloon. A routine six-month dental check-up will be scheduled before you leave. This will allow us to continue to follow your child’s growth, development, and oral health and catch any problems early when minimum treatment can have a maximum effect.
For the Older Child
Besides the comprehensive examination, x-rays and cleaning, in the older children we will closely check their bite and the eruption of the new permanent teeth. We will also check to see if your child is a good candidate for sealants.
Sealants: By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.
Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child's dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.
The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!
Pediatric dentists have special training in helping anxious children feel more comfortable and secure during dental treatment. Occasionally due to a child’s young age or their fears, we may need to use a sedative technique to help them relax and allow treatment. In our office we offer nitrous oxide/oxygen, conscious sedation, and if needed general anesthesia performed in a local hospital. See the post-op & sedation page for more information on these techniques.