Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Don't use these words:
Did you know.....
the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should visit the dentist by their 1st birthday.
We love children at Designing Smiles! We believe that their first visit should be fun and enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. We make their visit both fun and informative.
What will happen on the first visit?
Child appointments should ideally be scheduled earlier in the day, when your child is alert and fresh. For children under 36 months, the parent may need to sit in the dental chair and hold the child during the examination. As the child becomes more familiar with the office, parents may be asked to wait in the reception area so a relationship can be built between your child and the dentist. If the child is compliant, the first session often lasts between 15 and 30 minutes and may include the following, depending on age:
There is treasure box reward at the end of the appointment, so they actually look forward to their visit next time. Many first visits are simply icebreakers. They are meant to be introductory while establishing trust by repetitive, short visits. This can prove invaluable if the child ever needs treatment. It is helpful to talk to you child before their visit, and build excitement. We also recommend for you to bring them along to one of your healthy recall visits, so they can "see" what it is all about. During their visit we will be able to answer any questions you have and try to make you and your child feel comfortable throughout the visit.
Please be careful with your words. Before your visit, we ask that you avoid certain words that may increase anxiety and fear. Keep older siblings from talking to their younger siblings about the dentist, if you think that they may create a poor image. Children will pick up on your fear or any negative manner in which things are presented.
Don't say," it won't hurt" or "don't be afraid", or "Be a big, tough boy or be brave", because those very words can make someone think that there IS something to fear. Really, the less that is said, the better for the child. We explain things as we go and try to make it gentle and fun for the kids. Today, with modern fluoride, air abrasion, the Wand Single tooth anesthesia, and dental sealants, in addition to early prevention and education, kids just don't experience what the generations before them have experienced. Let's give them a good start and make it really FUN!!
How can I properly care for my child's teeth?
It is important to properly care for your child's baby teeth. They have the important function of allowing your child to chew the foods they need for proper nutrition, and then holding the proper space for their permanent teeth to erupt. Sugars from juice, milk or formula can all breakdown into acids that dissolve and decay teeth. Don't allow your child to fall asleep with a baby bottle, unless it contains water. Help you child to brush their teeth, starting with a cloth during infancy, and eventually progressing to a toothbrush and dental floss. Make sure that your child does not swallow their toothpaste. Ingestion of toothpaste could result in fluorosis, or dark/white spots, on primary and even permanent teeth.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, and will be monitored at your child's regular checkups. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child's teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future.
For children that need dental treatment, Dr. Hilton-Foley may recommend nitrous oxide, especially if your child is anxious. Most children can easily be treated with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). A scented nasal hood is placed over the nose and the child is able to breathe through their nose and mouth. Typically there is a television show or movie your child can watch, directly over their chair. We also like to tuck them in with blankets for extra comfort and a feeling of security. Once the procedure is complete, your child will be given oxygen and will return to normal within a few minutes, with no after effects. If your child needs a stronger sedative, they will be referred to a specialist. When children are used to seeing their dentist when healthy, and they have a few fun visits, it is a lot easier to treat them for cavities. With the use of fluoride varnish, rinse or foam, healthy preventative cleanings, sealants, and proper home care, most children will not need more invasive procedures until they are much older. Prevention is the key to a healthy mouth.