To be or not to be...How to make the most of your child's dental visit.
Dr. Martin not only wants TO BE your child's dentist, but we want your child's visit to be the best experience for them while receiving the highest level of care. So many of us as kids had a less than favorable, even traumatic, visit at the dentist. So, we want to partner with our parents so your child's visit is something they look forward to. We have had so many moms inquire about what we recommend for their child's dental care. "What do you think about floss picks?, When should they come in for their first visit?, When do they start teething?, What should they expect at their first visit?" With all these questions, we thought it might be good to simply address a few to help them have a great experience. (and you, too:)
First, our goal is TO BE welcoming and caring, even fun while providing the highest level of pediatric dentistry for your child. Taking time to make certain they have a positive visit that is not traumatic. NOT TO BE that experience you possibly had that makes some patients dread a visit. Our goal is to provide the tools and care so that your child has the opportunity to be an adult without a single cavity. This is a reachable goal.
Now, how do we do that? Well, first know that your child's teeth are present at birth. Teeth begin to appear around six months and continue to erupt until about about age three when the primary set would include 20. You can use a washcloth to wipe the gums and the first teeth. This feels good on their gums, and helps them to grow comfortable with oral care. Parents should assist with brushing, so the teeth are kept clean and can be sure your child spits out the paste.
When your child has two teeth that touch, you can introduce floss. Yes, the floss picks that moms have inquired about are fine and tend to be more fun to use. We also recommend timers and electric toothbrushes as they get older to remind the child to be brushing for 2 minutes. To make your child more comfortable at their first visit, we often schedule a "happy visit." This is a time when your child can observe either you or their older sibling having their teeth cleaned. It simply allows them to be familiar with what happens during a cleaning appointment, while sometimes they will even have a ride in the chair. This often makes them eager to schedule a time that is just their own. Their first visit is generally around age 3.
Your anxiety or concerns are not to be discussed with your child, as your fears are often tranferred. Leave it to our team to warmly welcome them, and make them feel special having their teeth cleaned. Let the hygienist come out and meet your child and walk them back for this exciting time for them. Give them the confidence to be independent at their first visit. The hygienist and Dr. Martin will make sure you are included on the findings, home care techniques, and the treatment plan. The child then feels proud as they search the treasure box with a smile, and share with you how their visit went. Let them establish a trust in our team.
Dr. Martin will examine your child's development and keep you informed on any treatment. If you have any specific questions regarding your child's care, please don't hesitate to ask. We find it best not to be bribing the child, or saying, "it won't hurt." A child has no expectations of their own regarding the visit, only excitement. Typically, a bribe is offered when a good result isn't expected. We expect good results! Our team wants them to be comfortable, have fun and enjoy their care.
TO BE more pleasant for the child, appoinments are best scheduled in the morning, when the child isn't tired. Not to be fresh and rested can cause the time to be less enjoyable for your child. Let's face it, by the end of the day; we can all be less cooperative. We want them TO BE smiling when they leave as well as when they return.
At most visits, the patient laughs with Dr. Martin, draws him a picture, catches them up on their sports or activities and leaves with a smile. (Dr. Martin has also been caught helping with homework, and especially enjoys math!) We also love to see what is going on in their world. Post pictures of your child's biggest smile on our facebook link at www.themartindentalcenter.com. We love to see you and your child smile. It is our greatest reward.