For both parents and children, a trip to the dentist can be a little intimidating. At Inland Family Dentistry, we understand this common problem and we’re here to help you face it head on. From the initial meet and greet, we strive to create a comfortable experience for children that inspires excitement and laughter rather than tears and fears. From the adult side of things, we work to educate loving parents about the importance of dental hygiene and routine visits for their kids, creating a solid foundation for a future full of healthy smiles.

The Importance of Dental Hygiene
As a parent, it’s important that you instill lifelong dental hygiene habits in your children. When babies are born, they already have their full set of 20 primary teeth that don’t begin to show until they’re between 6 months and 1 year, fully coming in by age 3.

During this time, being proactive about your child’s dental health is the best way to ensure everything is on track so they don’t experience any developmental problems later on. This includes making sure their gums are healthy before the first teeth even begin coming in, and taking proper care of their oral health as a whole, which is what we excel at.

Understanding that parents have many questions about the oral health and hygiene of their children, we have a variety of resources that contain a wealth of helpful information. From establishing hygiene habits and helping parents protect their kids during sports activities, to education about proper nutrition and the harmful effects of soda drinks, we’re here to help you navigate this exciting time in your child’s life.

The Teddy Bear Check-Up
At Inland Family Dentistry, we make it our mission to track the dental progress of our patients from start to finish, which with children, is as soon as they begin the teething process. With the combined experience of our professional staff and our desire to make the dentist an enjoyable visit for children of all ages, we rolled out the teddy bear check-up which we’ve outlined below.

Initial Visit
For children, a trip to the dentist for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. To help calm worried children and parents alike, we make the initial visit all about getting acquainted with the staff and office. We want kids to get a feel for the place without any exams or dental work, giving them a lasting, positive first impression that they can then carry with them when they return for their first true check-up.

During this time, our professional staff will also take time getting to know you and your child. This is when we collect information about current dental hygiene habits and help to educate parents on best practices so they can ensure their child has healthy teeth and gums. We also encourage parents to bring their child with them to their dental appointment so they can become better acquainted with the setting and what goes on.

Let’s Have Some Fun
Once the initial meet and greets are done, members of our friendly staff are excited to give parents and their children a tour of the equipment. Depending on the age of the child, this includes fun activities such as riding the exam chair up and down, squirting their parents with the dental water gun, seeing how some of the exam items work, and even getting to pick a toy from our exciting toy chest.

Here, we want to begin building a bond with the child, creating a sense of excitement and joy that’s attached to our office. Understanding that many dental office experiences can create phobias in children if not handled the right way, we work around making each child as comfortable as possible. By doing this, it reduces the stress on both the parents and the children.

The Stuffed Animal Exam
When it comes time for us to give your child their true first exam, we have two friendly routes that we like to take in order to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. For children with a stuffed animal or toy that has teeth, we’ll actually perform the exam on them first, allowing the child to see exactly what’s happening. In one instance, we performed a dental exam on a 9-foot stuffed alligator, which led to a quick and easy, smile filled visit.

The other option we use is what we call a “knee to knee” exam. Here, the parent and the hygienist sit knee to knee with the child laid in both of their laps. In doing this, we create a sense of comfort and trust with children, allowing their parents to play an active role in the exam process and ask questions along the way.

Kids Terms or No Terms
One of the reasons we’re so successful with our young patients is because we operate on their terms. In order to create the best experience possible and prevent the chances of creating phobias, we never force a kid if they’re not ready. We want children to feel comfortable and ready for their exam when they visit our office. This philosophy creates a more welcoming environment that allows both parent and child to get through the exam process almost completely stress free.

We’re Ready When You Are
As a parent, it’s only natural to want the best for your child. We understand that when your kid is worried about a visit to the dentist’s office, it makes you worried too. That’s why we go the extra mile in creating comfortable, productive dental exams for children who are just starting to teeth, all the way through to when their adult teeth are coming in and beyond.

So, when your child is ready for their first visit, as young as 1 year old, give our team a call. You’re sure to be greeted with warm smiles and our knowledgeable staff members that are prepared to help you take the next exciting step in your child’s dental journey.