Parents are welcome to accompany their child into the treatment area during the initial examination. This gives you the opportunity to meet our team and gives the doctor and hygienist an opportunity to discuss any findings and treatment needs directly with you. We do ask that if you accompany your child you assume the role of a silent observer during treatment. If more than one person is speaking to the child, this may be confusing. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between our dental staff and your child.
At subsequent appointments, we encourage children to come back to the treatment area by themselves whenever possible. This allows the doctor and staff to communicate with your child directly without distractions or safety concerns, helping to establish your child’s trust and independence. We do, however, have an “open door” policy. As their parent/caregiver, you are more than welcome to come back during your child’s visit. Again, we ask that you do this as a silent observer. Children who are apprehensive, may look for an “escape” or put on an “act” for their parent(s). If this happens, we ask that you respect the doctor’s professional opinion on how to best treat the child. Our goal is to obtain an open line of communication between the child and doctor. We recommend preschool and young children be scheduled in the morning; they are fresher, and our schedule allows us time to work at their pace. We also request that only one parent accompany the child into the treatment area. Space is limited in the room and helps limit the amount of distractions and loss of focus from your child. For safety and privacy of the other patients, we ask that you remain in the treatment room that your child is designated. We also recommend that all others (including children that are not scheduled at this appointment) are asked to remain in the reception room. Young children in the reception room will need a supervising adult.
The following is a brief explanation of some of the methods we use to guide your child’s behavior and provide a positive dental experience. These techniques are based on the principles from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Since each child is unique, each encounter may be different and other methods may be explained as needed.
Tell, Show, Do: This important tool teaches the child in simple terms what will be done then shown each step of the procedure before it is performed.
Imagery: We tell children in simple, playful terms what is going to be done. We never use words like needle, shot, etc., but instead we use sleepy juice to put teeth to sleep.
Distraction: We often try to distract your child from an unpleasant sensation by focusing his/her thoughts on something other than what is being done.
Positive Reinforcement: This is a technique used to reinforce good behavior by praising your child or providing a reward following a desired response in hopes of promoting good behavior.
Non-Verbal Communication: Behavior is guided by posture and facial expression. This also pertains to parents in treatment rooms. Please keep positive, encouraging faces.
Voice Control: This is a controlled change of voice volume, tone or pace to influence and direct the child’s behavior. This is used to redirect behavior and establish clear expectations and establish a line of communication between the doctor and your child.
Parental Presence of Absence: This technique uses the presence or absence of a parent in the room to gain cooperation and compliance.