Many parents don’t realize how dental problems can occur, or just how important those “baby teeth” are!
Prolonged and frequent bottle or breast feeding can cause bottle tooth decay. Diets high in sugar from fruit roll-ups, sticky candies , juice and soda can also cause lots of cavities. Thumb and pacifier habits can cause malformations of the palate.
Children are not done losing their baby teeth until they are 12-13 years old! These teeth hold the spaces for permanent teeth, shape your child’s face, and help with speech, eating and chewing.
Dr. Robert Graber, has been treating children, in his 135 Union Avenue, dental practice, for the past 30 years. Dr. Graber, has a hypo allergenic, Portuguese water dog, Bright & Beautiful therapy dog, “Jessie”, and a wonderful supporting staff that really makes a difference in achieving your child’s comfort specially in their very first dental treatment. Our office works hand in hand with your child, as well as answering any and all questions from their dear parents. We treat children from 2 years old through their teen age years. Remember that good dental habits and experiences started in childhood last a lifetime! We know how to make kids leave the dentist’s chair smiling and their parents, too!
To help your child learn to LOVE the Dentist!, here are some Do’s and Don’ts.
- START YOUNG: To put it simply, the earlier you help prepare your child, the better. When your child is introduced to dental care at an early age, they’ll be more open to new things, and you can find ways to help them feel comfortable from the very start. Experts recommend that children have their first dental visit by age one, or when their first tooth is visible. At that time, your child’s first dental visit should be quick, and it’s a great opportunity for them to get to know the dentist and become familiar with the office.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE: When it comes time for your child’s first visit, keep it simple and don’t overdo it on the details. Too many details can raise more questions, and adding more information about an extra treatment like a filling that might be needed, may cause unnecessary anxiety. Keep a positive attitude when discussing an upcoming visit, but don’t give your child false hope. That just means don’t say “everything will be fine”, because if your child ends up needing a treatment, he or she might lose trust in you and the dentist.
- MAKE IT FUN: You can make a dentist visit easier for your child by preparing in enjoyable, kid-friendly ways! Our suggestions? Reading books and playing games with simple role-playing. By reading books about dental visits, it will help your child become familiar with the dentist, and also will give you a chance to talk about what will happen and why oral care is important. Another great tool is role-playing with your child. You can first play the dentist, and then take turns having your child play the dentist while you play the patient. ( It’s a good idea to avoid any “scary” noises and tools!) Instead, have your little one open their mouth and simply count teeth. Then switch! You can also encourage playing dentist with stuffed animals, or even get a dentist “dress up” play set.
- AVOID BRIBERY: Most experts don’t recommend promising your child a special treat if she behaves well at the dentist. Saying, “If you don’t fuss or cry, you’ll get a lollipop,” might make your little one think, “What’s so bad about the dentist that I might want to cry?” Plus promising a sugary treat sends the wrong message after a dentist emphasizes having clean, healthy teeth by avoiding sweets that can cause cavities. Instead, just praise your child for their good behavior and bravery (and every once n a while, surprise them with a sticker or small toy as an encouragement).
- SET A GOOD EXAMPLE: Your child looks to YOU to more than even you realize. They watch your every move and they copy your behavior – good AND bad. If you’re apprehensive about dentistry yourself, your child will likely pick up on your fear and anxiety. So watch your words and maintain a positive attitude! Use positive words and reinforce ideas about cleanliness and good oral health. And don’t forget – when kids see you or their siblings brush and floss, they will be more motivated to follow along!
- SECRET WEAPON: We admit it. We have a secret weapon, something that not every dental clinic has, but everyone needs. What is it? Jesse, our hypo-allergenic therapy dog! Jesse is a therapy dog trained to alleviate fears, anxieties & phobias in patients during treatment (all patients, big AND small!).
Kids don’t have to fear the dentist! And a healthy relationship with their dentist leads to healthy teeth and gums throughout childhood and beyond. At our practice, you are not a number; we treat all of our patients as though they were part of our family. Using some of the latest technologies that Dentistry has to offer including laser procedures, Dr. Graber, will customize and prioritize your treatment in order to provide you with dentistry that meets your present and future needs.