Did you know that when children sit in the dental chair at our office they are actually on a ride at an amusement park? We don’t use scary drills, we use buzzing bees, Maja and her friend Pavo, as our little patients like to call them. Saliva is suctioned by a little duck that is drinking water, and little colorful stars are placed on the child’s teeth, all while their favorite cartoon is playing in the background. And finally, a prize is given for a job well done.
WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT A DENTIST FOR THE FIRST TIME?
A child should visit a dental office after turning one, when the primary teeth start to come out. Usually during this period, no procedures have to be done that could scare the child, so little ones can meet the dentist in a relaxed atmosphere, talk to him and play games. After that, check-ups should be scheduled regularly in order to treat cavities while they are still small and can be filled quickly and painlessly. But we have a solution for those big, bad cavities by giving a tiny mosquito bite, allowing for a completely pain-free procedure.
THE ROLE OF THE PARENTS
Parents play a very important role in preparing their child for their first visit to the dentist’s. Your child should not sense your own fear of the dentist. It is your job to explain why it is important to have healthy teeth, why we brush our teeth every day, who the dentist is and what he does exactly. Do not scare your child by telling them they will have to go see the dentist if they do not brush their teeth regularly and that the dentist will use drills and extract their teeth. This might make them brush their teeth, but it will create a fear of the dentist that will follow them into adulthood. Children should be rewarded after every dental visit if they cooperate, but should also be punished for not cooperating and causing problems.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIMARY TEETH
Although it’s true that primary teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth, the role they play is very significant for the normal development of the jaw, chewing and they also hold space for permanent teeth waiting to come out. It is very important that primary teeth are examined by a dentist regularly, any tooth decay should be repaired, and most importantly, good oral hygiene should be established at a very young age. Dental visits should be fun and relaxed, not filled with fear.