FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING

We have three goals for your child’s first visit. First, we want him or her to feel safe. We appreciate that each child’s personality is unique. The first visit is an opportunity for your child to get to know us and for us to get to know your child. We believe that when a child feels safe, he or she is more receptive and that he or she can do amazing things. Second, we want to address any concerns you may have. We thrive on providing information and options for care if your child’s examination shows any concerns. Third, we will provide you age-specific strategies to keep him or her healthy. Get in touch today to see how we can get your child on the path to a lifetime of great dental health! Call us (571) 601-2080

PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR TREATMENT

Most children do not inherently fear going to the dentist. However, young children may have a fear of the unknown as well as fear of medical environments. Older kids may be fearful if they have had bad experiences with previous dental treatment. Of course, some children may just be more anxious or sensitive. We have found the following tips useful in helping kids be more prepared and less fearful with their visits:

  • Begin dental care early. By following a preventive strategy you can hopefully prevent your child from developing cavities at a young age, when treatment is usually more challenging. Studies show that children who visit the dentist early generally are less anxious than those who start later.
  • Practice good oral hygiene and dietary practices in front of your children so they learn to value those behaviors.
  • Read books about dental health and visiting the dentist. Some of our favorites are, “Dora Goes to the Dentist”, “Sugar Bug Doug”, “Maisy, Charlie, and the Wobbly Tooth”, “How Many Teeth?”, and “Elmo Visits the Dentist.”
  • Never discuss your own fears or anxieties about visiting the dentist in front of your child. Your child will pick up on even subtle vibes you are putting out. Strive to make all discussions positive.
  • Pretend play with your child and allow him or her to brush your teeth and be the dentist. Amazon carries play dentist kits as well as dentist-themed Play Doh kits that will help remove fear of the unknown.
Mother and kids are smiling

MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY VISIT: APPOINTMENT GUIDELINES

We have found the following scheduling principles to be helpful for our patients:

  • Early to mid-morning appointments are reserved especially for younger children who are more fresh and able to manage the various stimuli associated with dental appointments.
  • Morning appointments are also reserved for children requiring dental treatment other than a regular wellness exam. This is a common practice in pediatric dental offices since treatment has a greater chance for success when the child is well rested and fresh.
  • Early and later afternoon appointments are reserved for middle school and high school age children who have greater academic demands.
  • New patients and consultations are generally scheduled mid-morning so the office is better able to spend extra time getting to know the child.
  • We require 48 hours (two business days) notice if an appointment needs to be rescheduled in order to avoid a missed appointment fee.
A woman using her laptop

SICK CHILD POLICY

Children are naturally likely to get sick from time to time. We have developed the following points to serve as a guide. In the following cases, the child’s appointment should be rescheduled:

  • Any symptoms of COVID 19. You will be sent a questionnaire the day prior to your child’s appointment. Any symptoms will require rescheduling of the appointment at least two weeks into the future.
    Any child with a fever. Even if a fever is controlled with medication, the child is still considered to have a fever.
  • A child with an active respiratory infection such as RSV or tuberculosis.
  • A child with an ear infection who will be treated for cavities with nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
  • A child who is unable to breathe through his or her nose, who will be treated for cavities with nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
  • A child who has thrown up in the past 24 hours.
  • A child with a communicable oral virus such as childhood oral herpes or hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Mother and kids are playing games

SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN

We believe that each child is special and deserves to feel safe, and should be treated with compassion and respect. Dental health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of every child, and we ensure that parents are our allies in the care of their children. 

These values are especially true in our care of children with special needs. We care for a variety of children possessing challenges such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism/PDD, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, Down Syndrome, hearing/vision impaired, sensory integration disorder, and others. A child with any of these challenges presents with unique needs that must be met in order to give him or her the best opportunity for good dental health. If necessary, we often see special kids several times prior to their cleaning appointments, allowing them to gradually become acclimated to the office.

We make every attempt to schedule private appointments for them to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible. We incorporate techniques of Floortime® and relationship development to help our special patients feel safe and supported. We have done our best to create a peaceful environment for all of our patients. Our office does not have the typical pediatric dental office “open bay” style; all of our dental operatories are either semi-private or private, providing comfort and less sensory stimulation for the children. We are sensitive to the fact that many children with special needs have sensitivities to artificial colors, gluten, and fluoride. Our polishing pastes are free of all of these ingredients.

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, we encourage you to seek dental care for your child early, as this is often vital to promoting good dental health and comfort in the dental office. For more information please call us at (571) 601-2080 for a complimentary consultation.

A board game