To make your experience with us much easier, we have provided the following frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered below, please do not hesitate to call our
Q: How often should my child see the dentist?
A: Children should visit the dentist every six months. Your dentist is the best source for information about what is best for your child. The frequency of visits will also depend on your child's individual eating habits, the cleanliness of his or her teeth, and whether your child drinks fluoridated water. Tooth decay causes children in the USA to miss 51 million hours of school annually, and children with tooth decay tend to have lower test scores.
Q: What is the best way to prepare my child for his or her first visit?
A: Please emphasize to your child that we are a "tooth doctor" who works to keep teeth healthy and happy. Be relaxed and at ease to help your child do the same. Your child will sense any stress on your part. Avoid words like "hurt, shot, drill, X-ray, or needle," as these words are not used in a pediatric practice and may unnecessarily frighten your child. We know how to make your child’s experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible. We will treat your child as gently as we would treat our own.
Q: What does your procedure with a child involve?
A: Before we begin any part of the procedure, we will explain it to your child in understandable terms that will not cause undue stress. Our patients are treated like first-class citizens here. We will answer any of your questions and perform a comprehensive examination and cancer screening of your child’s mouth. This will include evaluating the supporting structures and the teeth. We will also evaluate your child's bite, or occlusion. We will also clean your child’s teeth. We will only apply topical fluoride if your child is old enough for it, and we will determine the necessity of X-rays (tooth pictures) on an individual basis (not routine). We will make this whole process as painless as possible for all parties.
Q: What if my child cries?
A: Crying is a normal reaction in a young child. Please do not let his or her anxiety upset you, as it is very common, and we anticipate crying in many small children. Remaining relaxed (as both parents and dental staff) will help the child overcome his or her stress. As a parent, I am aware that a crying child is often more difficult for us than for the child. Anxiety will further decrease with time.
Q: What are some Do's and Don'ts for parents?
A: Do not bribe your child into going to the dentist, use a dental visit as a form of punishment, expose the child to any of your own stress or anxiety about the visit, or allow any other person to tell your child scary stories about visits. Avoid words that we do not use in a pediatric practice, including “hurt,” “pain,” “shot,” “needle,” “drill,” etc.
Do try to make dental visits as enjoyable and easy as possible for your child, with our help! Set a good example by brushing and flossing your own teeth every day, and be sure to visit your dentist regularly. If your doctor prefers, allow your child to go into the treatment room alone. We can protect your child from dental disease. Start dental visits at an early age so you can help your child to have strong, healthy teeth.
Q: What if my child is afraid to visit the dentist?
A: Children are not born fearing dental visits. This fear is a learned negative emotion. We can determine which treatment approach is best for your child and are willing to discuss all options available to him or her. Avoid problems with early prophylactic visits.
Q: How can a dentist calm the stressed child?
A: Pediatric dentists have 2 years of training in helping nervous or scared children to feel safe and at ease during dental treatment. Dental offices in this area of practice are designed for children by including smaller chairs, bright colors, toys, games, and teaching tools customized for them. We are experienced and comfortable working with children and will make sure your child is as stress-free during his or her visit as possible.
Q: How do you calm children?
A: We use Tender Loving Care, Positive Reinforcement, Distraction, Voice Control and Non-verbal Communication, including the "Tell-Show-Do" Technique. These techniques ensure that your child will feel informed about his or her treatment.
Q: How will you ensure my child feels comfortable and at ease?
A: The "Tell-Show-Do" technique involves telling your child the name of a dental instrument. The next step is to demonstrate with it by using it to count your child's fingers. Then we apply the tool to treatment. Our scheduling technique ensures that a stressed child is treated next to a more cooperative and less frightened child. The best technique is praise. At Dr. Banas's office, children are rewarded with a balloon of their choice of colors and shapes after their treatment! Dr. Banas also invites each child to choose a sticker from our collection. We keep a large variety in stock to please children of all ages, from Disney characters to Sponge Bob Square Pants.