Your Kids First Dental Visit – Make It A Positive Experience!

Hello. I’m Doctor Gray Kantor, Dentistry for Healthy Living. Today, I’m going to talk to you about your kids’ first dental visit. Here at Kantor and Kantor Dentistry, we like that first visit to be calm, relaxed. It should be a visit where the kid comes to the office and just realizes that the dentist is a good time. They just leave with a prize, and somebody just counts their teeth. And that’s really it. The important part of that first visit is how they think of the visit when they’re coming. The way you could really help us out, is when you’re coming to the office, act like you’re going to say, getting a haircut, or going to get ice cream. It doesn’t need to be a scary visit or something that scares you, the parent, but it may not scare the child. These days, how dentistry works, it is not a scary visit, and we can make it that way for your kid. So when your kid first comes to our office, we’ll greet you first, and then we’ll introduce ourselves to your son or daughter. We’ll bring them on back and show them around, show them some things about the office, make them feel comfortable, as comfortable as they can be. And then we’ll have them sit in the chair.

If they’re younger than two or three, we’ll probably have them sit on your lap, and that makes it a little bit easier and they feel more comfortable. So what we do for the first dental visit, is all we’re doing is, we just kind of take a look. We want it to be as easy as possible. We just count their teeth, I show them the mirror that I’m using, I show them everything that I’m using so that they don’t feel like it’s something strange. They can touch it, they can kind of play with it. Just so they know everything that’s going on, ’cause kids are really curious. So I’ll take the mirror and I’ll start counting their teeth. I always ask them how many teeth they think they have, and I get the funniest answers, but always so cute. So I’ll count their teeth, and what I’m actually doing when I count their teeth, is I’m checking each tooth, tooth-by-tooth. I will only take x-rays if I see something during the time that I’m counting their teeth. I try to take as few x-rays on kids as possible. Well, in everything we do, we try to take as few x-rays as we can. But with kids, we don’t always have to take x-rays, only if we see the signs of cavities will we take x-rays. Another reason we’ll take x-rays is because if a tooth is missing and we don’t know where it is.

What we’ll do is we’ll take a panoramic and that’ll show us where that tooth is, where did it go, and we’ll have more information. The next step is to go over the treatment with you, and then that’s really it. We’ll usually do some fluoride, unless you the parent doesn’t like fluoride. We have some alternatives to fluoride as well, like Xylitol. Once that’s all done, and we’ve talked about treatment, the kid’s done. That’s really it. It’s a real quick appointment, we’ll do some slight teeth cleaning, but most of it’s talking. We talk to the kid about how to clean their teeth, we talk to them about how to floss, we have floss forks to let them practice. And we’ll even polish their teeth a little bit to just make sure that they have that extra protection. During that appointment when we’re teaching them, we’ll teach them how to brush their teeth, and we’ll go over circular strokes, how to touch every surface of their teeth, angles that are helpful. Things like that, that are really helpful for kids to learn to really clean their teeth well. The first time a kid can really clean their teeth by themselves is after seven years old. I would help your kids clean their teeth before that. That way can make sure to reduce the amount of cavities.

Really that’s it. And at the end of that appointment, they get a prize. This is kinda the fun part. Kids love this part. They get to come into our little treasure chest, and they get really cool prizes. We have glow in the dark stick ’ems so they can put them on their wall if they want. A little ice cream cone that shoots, if you want to use that one. Toy snakes, poppers, things like that. Things that kids like. So we really love having kids here, and they love this part. And then finally, if your kid does happen to need treatment, we do make that as easy as possible. We always try to have that at a separate appointment, that way the first appointment is considered fun and easy. And their thought of the dentist is, “Well, that was pretty easy, you just come in, he counts my teeth, and that’s it.” And so it really makes for a happy environment. If there’s treatment that’s necessary, not to worry, we make that easy as well. We have multiple methods of making this an easy appointment. We have noise canceling headphones. These headphones make it so that they can’t really hear the high-pitched noises of Mr. Whistle, our drill. Then we also have laughing gas. Laughing gas for kids is safe and it is so fun for the kids to use because it reduces the amount of time they feel like they’re here.

It makes them feel like, “Oh, the appointment’s over.” Sometimes they even fall asleep. We have a lot of kids that fall asleep in the chair. So nitrous, we really suggest nitrous for kids. It’s very helpful, and makes the appointment more quick. With our noise canceling headphones you might ask, “What do we do with these?” “What are they listening to?” Well, they could just listen to music, but we also have a TV above the chair. On that TV, we have Netflix where they can watch their favorite shows, anything they want. Of course, we ask the parents if there’s something they shouldn’t be watching. Especially if the kid chooses a rated R film, which does happen sometimes. So we’ll make sure that we check with you. So with those things going on, noise canceling headphones, watching their show, nitrous oxide, the laughing gas. They’re having a good time, they’re not noticing what we’re doing. Next time you need a place for your kid to be relaxed and enjoy the dentist, really enjoy the dentist, come to us… Gray Kantor, Dentistry for Healthy Living.

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