"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
Dental caries is the #1 chronic disease affecting children today. But children are not born with decay. Decay can be prevented with proper patient education. So, as soon as your kiddo has their first tooth, come and see us so we can help prevent as many dental caries as possible.
For children who are unable to cooperate for treatment, our office offers nitrous oxide analgesia (laughing gas) to help reduce anxiety and increase comfort.
Additionally, we offer treatment under general anesthesia in office, at Leominster Hospital and at Franciscans Children's Hospital for children requiring sedation. The decision to treat with nitrous oxide or general anesthesia is made on a case by case basis. Every case is different so your kiddo may not need to go under general anesthesia and the nitrous oxide is enough for them.
Guide for Success at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Every parent is nervous about how their child is going to behave at his/her first dental visit. Our goal is for all our new patients to have a fun, exciting, interesting, and educational visit. Dentistry has changed over the past few decades, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to ensuring the most positive experience for your child.
This is your child’s first visit to our office….we want it to be an awesome one!
Here are a few helpful tips.
Don’t let your child know of any anxiety YOU may have about dental visits. Don’t bribe your child or threaten a dental visit as punishment.
Set a Good Example at Home
Children imitate their role models.
Practice good dental habits at home: brush twice a day and floss your teeth. Beware of frequent snacking and visit your dentist on a regular basis.
Talking to your children about how you go see your dentist often gets them excited about visiting their dentist.
Make the First Visit an Adventure
If you’re excited about your child’s dental visit, he/she will be excited too! Come to our office early on the day of your child’s appointment and enjoy our fun waiting area.
Children often ask what is going to happen at the dental appointment. Don’t purposely mislead your child, but at the same time, don’t give your child more information than he/she is able to understand.
Please avoid using words like ‘hurt’, ‘drill’, ‘x-rays’, or ‘shot’. You will find that we use only child friendly words when describing the various instruments and procedures your child will experience in our office. Avoid comments that may appear to be reassuring like ‘Don’t worry, the doctor won’t hurt you’. Such comments actually make your child more anxious rather than less.
Some friendly words you can use to explain what is going to happen are "tickle machine" for the drill, "picture" for the x-rays, "wiggle" for an extraction, or even "taking the sugar bugs out" for a cavity.
After all, your child knows that when anticipated experiences are really fun, you never say that.
Coping Behavior of Children
A first dental visit can be a challenging new experience for a young child. Children frequently fear the unknown, and sometimes exhibit avoidance behavior in the form of squirming or crying.
Parents should not be surprised or embarrassed if their child does not initially cooperate in the dental office. If allowed the opportunity, children usually take great pride in overcoming their fears, and most of our patients who might have cried initially leave with a big smile on their faces.