Remember the good old days when you were only responsible for one set of pearly whites? You could pop into your dentist’s office easily and you were aware of how long the appointment would take. Now that you’ve got a family to manage, things may not be quite as easy. With more appointments to make and schedules to arrange between school, work and extra curricular activities, you risk some members of the family being behind on their scheduled maintenance. Family dentists understand these challenges and we are here to make going to the dentist easier.
What is a Family Dentist?
A family dentist is a general dental practitioner who has built their practice around treating and maintaining oral health in people of all ages. Our job as a family dental clinic is to maintain leading-edge knowledge of developments in the world of oral health as it pertains to each stage of life. For the patient, our clinic is designed with you in mind. We offer a warm and inviting environment with attention paid to décor and availability of distraction screens.
Your experience in our clinic will be supported by a professional and compassionate team of professionals. Not only are we great at dentistry – we employ team members who enjoy working with children, seniors and special needs patients. Our experience as a family dentistry team equips us with tips, tricks and tools to help different patients get comfortable in the environment in the ways that are best suited to their needs. This might mean an extended appointment to allow an apprehensive child time to bond with their dentist before jumping into a procedure or cleaning, a late appointment to accommodate working schedules or making changes in the clinical environment to support patient comfort (headphones, comfort items and low lighting are examples).
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Anxiety is a common occurrence in the dental office, but the number of children who visit our office means that we are more aware of this concern because children tend to be transparent in their emotions. This provides your dental team with an opportunity to build trust with their young patients. We know that when our patients trust us, they are more willing to get into the chair and will have an easier time keeping still. A calm patient means that the dentist can focus on the task at hand and as a result, procedure time is decreased.
Wherever possible, we encourage parents to have their children begin attending the dentist from a young age. This offers an opportunity to really get to know their dentist and provides a positive experience for the child. Children begin to look forward to seeing their dentist to show off their happy and healthy teeth. We even encourage parents to have their young children attend appointments with them to observe. Observing a parent or sibling’s interaction at the dentist is excellent role modelling for young children.
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Establishing Good Habits
Role modelling of good oral hygiene should also be a regular occurrence at home. Children learn so much of what they know from observation alone, even if they don’t have language skills yet. Watching mommy and daddy brush and floss in the mirror will have your little one reaching for a toothbrush of their own before you know it. These habits form early in a child’s development, so we recommend starting as you mean to continue. Demonstrating that it is important to take care of your teeth and gums is an understanding that will be with your child for life.
Another aspect of oral hygiene worthy of demonstration in the home is healthful eating and a healthy lifestyle because flossing every day doesn’t mean that you can eat candy for breakfast. Children should understand the difference between foods that are good for their teeth and body such as meat protein, vegetables and fruit, and foods that do not support teeth and body health like sugar, acidic drinks and chips. Teaching moderation is helpful guidance for people of all ages and for children it can be broken down into ‘always’ foods and ‘sometimes’ foods. Always foods are foods like carrots and apples and sometimes foods are items like cake or candy. This is an easy concept for young ones to grasp – and teaching it reminds the whole family to be conscious about the quality of the foods and beverages that they allow into their diet. Many parents come to terms with the need to make dietary changes for their health as they begin to teach their children about it and as children grow, they may even call-out bad food choices – so you can keep each other honest.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.
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