Many parents feel that they need a pediatric dentist to treat their children. However, every dentist who graduates from dental school receives extended training in pediatric dentistry and spends time in the pediatric dental clinic. Some dentists, however, simply don’t enjoy treating children. That isn’t the case in our office. At Sommers Family Dental, that’s not a problem. Not only are all of our dentists qualified to treat children, but they enjoy it and children love them. What that means for your family is that you can all go to the same dental office for your care.
Pediatric Dental Care
We treat children with lifetime care in mind. That means we want them to feel positive about going to the dentist, so it becomes a habit throughout their adult lives. The best way to make that happen is for their early dental experiences to be positive ones. This is much more likely to happen if we get to see them before they have any real dental problems. We’ll see children for check ups as young as two years old and do our best to make the experience fun from the moment they walk into our clinic.
Our waiting room has a children’s section and a Lego table, so while they’re waiting to be called back they can pass the time building masterpieces. If it helps your child (or you) feel more comfortable, we allow parents back in the operatory. Some children do better with the comfort of having a parent nearby, but others do better if their parents stay behind in the waiting room. You know your child best, so we leave the decision up to you. Using puppets, artwork, and a prize box, we work to engage your child in their oral care. We’ll explain the procedures as we go along so your child will know what is happening to them, and make it a fun process.
Pediatric Dental Anxiety
Our preference is to help children avoid dental anxiety as much as possible. Here are some ways to help facilitate this:
- Don’t make the dentist a punishment. Sometimes parents try to coax their children into brushing their teeth by telling them if they don’t they’ll have to go to the dentist to fix their cavities. This creates a mindset that views the dentist as a place where naughty children who don’t brush have to go. Instead, try the positive reinforcement route. “Oh, the dentist is going to be so proud of how well you brush your teeth. They’re so nice and clean and shiny.”
- Be careful not to unintentionally communicate any dental anxiety you have to your children. If you get nervous when it is time for your appointment, they’ll pick up on it. Another way adults share anxiety is by overpreparing their child for the visit. Don’t make it a big deal.
- I know we’ve said this before, but it is always helpful to bring your children in before they have dental problems. That way their first experience will be a positive, fun one.
When more serious dental issues arise, such as fillings or having to pull a tooth, it is natural for children to get nervous or uptight. Many children have a needle phobia. If there is a high level of anxiety, their metabolism can burn off their Novocaine. In these situations we have nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) available. It is very safe and they will be completely conscious the whole time. It merely puts them in a relaxed state so the needle doesn’t terrify them and the oral anesthetic can do its job.
Whether you are looking for a clinic for your children, or one that can serve your entire family, we are happy to serve you and get to know your family. To get to know us, you are welcome to schedule a complimentary consultation for your first visit. You can ask us questions and get a basic evaluation. If you prefer, you may click here to request an appointment online.