what you need to know for your
YOUR FIRST VISIT
At your first visit with our team, we will spend time getting to know you and your child.
During the appointment, we will review your child’s medical and dental history. We will gently examine your child’s teeth, gum tissue and dental development. Dr. Erin and her team will determine the extent of treatment that will be rendered at the first visit. We will examine your child’s teeth, check for decay, make sure that teeth are coming in the right order, check for proper jaw development.
When should my child see the dentist?
We, along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommend children be seen by a dentist by the age of one, or by the time the first tooth erupts. We believe in a lifetime of prevention and education, from the first visit, well into the teenage years.
What is a dental home?
Establishing your child’s “Dental Home” at Sweet Tooth provides an opportunity for our team to implement and teach preventive dental habits. We tailor a hygiene program specifically designed to meet your child’s needs. We discuss nutrition, establishing healthy dietary habits that prevent dental and oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental disease. We stay on the leading edge of beneficial care, technology and therapy advances in dentistry for children.
How can I prepare my child?
Dr. Erin is specially trained in creating a welcoming and safe environment for all children, especially anxious children. Having our child friendly office helps, too. All of our team members have chosen to work in a pediatric dental practice because they love children and honor the trust you instill in us to take care of your child.
Before the first visit with Dr. Erin, talk with your child about the positive aspects of dentistry. First, describe the setting as a fun place. Help your child feel comfortable by expressing good feelings about dental visits. By using phrases such as “careful and gentle” rather than “won’t hurt you” when describing their exam. Don’t get technical and try to refrain from saying words such as, “needle”, “anesthesia”, “pull out”, “shot” among others. Leave that to us; we will get the information across without lying to your child, but using appropriate language. Using the right words can get us very far. You can help your child feel more relaxed and comfortable during their visit.
Tips for a successful first visit:
- Practice counting teeth and opening wide.
- Do NOT use fear provoking words.
- Expect your child to react well and enjoy your first visit to our office.
Other than having the entire office environment designed to fit your child’s world, there are several techniques that we use that are of great help.
Tell – Show – Do
We commonly use a technique called tell-show-do, where we explain the procedure, demonstrate it on the child’s hand and then we perform the procedure on the child. This allows the child to visualize and feel in a similar way what he/she is going to feel once it’s done in the mouth. This is a great fun tool. With this technique, we introduce many of the things we will be using. For example, “Mr Slurpy” is our name for the suction; the “airplane” is our name for the “drill,” among many other analogies.
We combine this technique with the Positive Reinforcement technique, constantly complementing and praising throughout and, of course, rewarding them at the end with a special prize from our toy box.
Should I accompany my child to the treatment area?
We welcome parents to stay with their child during their dental visits. Parents or guardians are encouraged to be in the treatment area during the initial exam so they may become acquainted with the dental office, its personnel and have the opportunity to review treatment needs with the specialist. At subsequent appointments, the presences of the parent or guardian in the treatment area will be established depending on the patient’s needs. Parents or guardians are routinely asked to escort/accompany special needs children and those 3 years of age and younger. We discourage other children being allowed in the treatment rooms while siblings are receiving their dental care. This is done to ensure your child receives the best care under optimum and safe conditions.
Dr. Erin has an excellent team that is trained to help children overcome anxiety. Please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. Our job is to help them get through their dental procedures as quickly and pleasantly as possible. Careful and loving coaching will help your child have a positive dental experience. Studies and experience have shown that most children over the age of 3 react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own. We have a child friendly office and most children look forward to coming to see us. If Dr. Erin has specific recommendations for you to accompany your child on a restorative visit she asks that you be a silent partner to minimize distractions for your child allowing the most safe and productive visit. Pleasant visits promote trust and confidence that last a lifetime. Our goal is to help your child become a great dental patient for life.
Our Happy Patients
“Sweet is exactly how I would describe this dentist. My son loves her, and she really helped relax him and make all his fears go away. He is not afraid of the dentist anymore. We very highly recommend Dr. Arroyo!!!“
– Shanna B.
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