Our office, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age.
Benefits of a Dental Home
1. Most dental problems are preventable; an early dental home will help establish habits that prevent dental problems, saving you time and money in the long term.
2. If you have questions, a dental home will provide you with access to a dental professional.
3. Bumps and falls are a part of life. Becoming a patient of record will give you access to on-call emergency services avoiding potentially long waits in the emergency room.
You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. Too much discussion about a dental appointment can make your child anxious, the less “to-do” concerning the visit, the better.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear. Here are some examples of how we convey the same message, but with non-frightening words to your child:
examination = tooth counting
cleaning = tooth tickling
x-rays = tooth picture
explorer = tooth counter
fluoride = tooth vitamins
needle or shot = sleepy juice
decay or cavity = sugar bugs, sick tooth
pull or extract = tooth wiggle
drill = whistle brush
gas = magic air, happy air, laughing gas
It has been our experience that most children, ages three and over, cooperate better without a parent in the clinical area. Our preference, at Clark Pediatric Dentistry, is that you allow our experienced staff to guide your child through the dental experience. Some separation anxiety may be normal; we will carefully allay your child’s fears and ask for your assistance only if needed.
Some parents prefer to accompany their child in the clinical area and you are more than welcome to do this. If this is your preference, we ask that you inform our staff and make provisions prior to the appointment. To ensure the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult. Please remember that any clinical observations and conversations must be kept private in accordance with the health information privacy rules.
It is our goal to provide your child the highest quality dental care; we are confident that is your goal as well.