At the first consultation visit, if your child is comfortable, I'll look at their teeth and gums, take any necessary X-ray films and measure blood pressure. For most children, this proves to be an interesting and even pleasant occasion.
If your child isn't comfortable with any part of this first visit, I usually won't force the issue. It's more important that they develop a sense of comfort, trust and familiarity. So I allow a lot of time during this first meeting for your child to get comfortable, even bored with the new surroundings, before they even meet me.
While this can be a little inconvenient for you, I find it helps children greatly.
My staff and I enjoy helping children and look forward to working with them. In fact, half of my personal practice time is devoted to children. I also teach post-graduate students at the University of Toronto who are learning to be Specialists in Children's Dentistry on how to manage children.
Parents play an important role in developing their children's attitudes towards dental care. Children are often surprisingly astute observers, and will pick up the many clues—often non-verbal and unintentional—that parents can project relating to their own anxieties and attitudes. One of the great gifts you can give your child is a positive attitude towards excellent health-care.
Be very careful with your verbal and non-verbal communications about their visits. For example, telling your child, "If you behave yourself at the dentist I will buy you a treat later" tells your child to anticipate something unpleasant.
Instead, emphasize the positive aspects of their visit and treatment, tell them what the rules are and then reward them for good behavior. Be easygoing when you talk with your child about their appointment with me and help your child view this appointment primarily as an opportunity to meet new people who are interested in them and want to help them stay happy, healthy and strong.
Siblings and your child's friends tend to accentuate the more negative aspects of dental and medical care. Help your child understand that others' situations may have been special and their experiences will be different with me.
Prior negative experiences with other medical professionals are known to adversely affect your child's future behaviour. Children become apprehensive and develop anxiety quite easily and use these feelings to develop behaviour towards other of life's events. Help your child understand that this visit will be different if they have had a previous negative experience.
At Dentistry Asleep®,Dr. Kevin Dann offers dental hygiene services, routine dental care for adults and children, periodontal and endodontic therapy, cosmetic dental procedures and dental implants. Dr. Dann is one of the few Certified Specialists in Dental Anaesthesia, giving complete, comfortable care to all his valued patients. Enjoy experienced, anxiety-free dental healthcare! Make your appointment now!