Children are special patients and require special attention. Our office usually starts seeing patients as young as 3 years of age. Many families have found Dr. MacDonald's office hours to be most compatible with the school hours and holiday schedules of our younger patients. Here's some advice for your child's first dental visit:
- Try to bring your child in to visit the dentist before any toothaches or problems develop. This allows us to gradually orient your child to our office and explain what we do. When your child reaches the age of 3 or 4, it's a good idea to have him or her meet the dentist.
- •For a first visit, you might want to bring your child into the hygiene room while you're getting your teeth cleaned. He or she can observe, take a ride in the chair, and ask questions. It's important that a child's first visit to the dentist be a pleasant one.
- Despite your instincts, it is better for parents and other family members to stay out of the treatment room during appointments. Children generally tolerate dental work better when they can focus on the instructions they're receiving from the dentist. Extra observers in the room create a distraction that impedes communication.
- Prior to your child's first visit, don't say words to him or her such as "shot", "needle", or "drill". This will just scare them. The dentist will explain to your child using non-threatening terms, what instruments will be used and how they work. Children that are not apprehensive do much better during their appointment.
- Consider the use of Nitrous Oxide Gas in situations where the Doctor believes it's appropriate.
- Most importantly, relax! Children can read apprehension on the faces of their parents and will become nervous if they sense excess concern.
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