Happy Kids at the Dentist

Teamwork between parents and pediatric dentists makes an exam a pleasant experience

A trip to the dentist can be fun for kids. Really! Of course, it's not the same caliber as going to the zoo, movies, or birthday party, but it doesn't have to be an anxious time full of tears.

Pediatric dentists like Casey Rhoads, DDS, MDS, and Rebecca Ferns, DDS at Honey Bee Pediatric Dental Co., have two to three years of specialty training to help children feel at ease during an office visit. The procedures they perform aren't different from the ones done on adults. However, they have behavioral management techniques to help kids feel comfortable during an exam.

"We are moms and treat all our patients like our own kids," says Rhoads. "It's a lot of feeling out the kid. Just trying to make their experience a good one so if it ever comes time for a treatment, they trust us. They know we're there to help them, and this doesn't have to be a scary place."

Ferns adds, "We try to make things silly and goofy for them so they forget what's happening. We don't say the scary words. We don't say shot. We say, 'Oh, here's our sleepy juice.' We don't say, 'Here's my drill.' We say, 'Oh, here's my water toothbrush.' So just a lot of those kind of words to help calm them down."

Parents also play an essential role in helping their children have a pleasant dental experience. Some tips Rhodes and Ferns recommend are:

·       Before a baby's teeth start to show up, a parent can lean them back in their arms and use a soft washcloth to rub their gums gently.

·       When a tooth erupts, brush with a toothbrush and a rice-sized bit of toothpaste.

·       Read books to the kids about going to the dentist.

·       Take turns pretending to be a dentist and looking into each other's mouths.

·       Build up the visit as a fun experience. For example, after an exam at Honey Bee, kids get a balloon and a goodie bag with a toothbrush.

Ferns and Rhoads are certified in sedation dentistry for kids over-stressed at the dentist, so little ones are more comfortable during the exam. They also are trained to perform laser treatment for lip and tongue ties.

To learn more about Honey Bee Pediatric Dental Co, visit online at honeybeepdc.com.

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