Let’s face it, it’s not always easy getting kids to visit the dentist and learn about oral health. But at Basiago Family Dentistry, the friendly, professional staff have a few tricks up their sleeve to assure a successful visit for children and parents alike.
According to Basiago Family Dentistry co-owner Christopher Basiago, DDS, it all starts before the child arrives at the dental office. At home, it is vital for parents to ensure their child feels comfortable about their upcoming dental appointment.
“Majority of the kids are nervous and a small portion will cry,” Basiago said. “It’s important for parents not to tell children scary stories before they come in or older brothers and sisters like to torment the younger brother or sister with a scary story. We always try to tell the parents and the siblings to tell them positive things before their appointment.”
Once it’s time to go to the dental office, Basiago Family Dentistry takes over from there. In their office, they create an atmosphere suitable for kids with toys in the waiting room and televisions displaying their favorite programs in the treatment center.
“We’ll turn on Disney or one of the cartoon channels before they even walk into the room,” Basiago said. “So when they walk into the room, it’s the first thing they see. At that point, some of them are so engrossed in the television that is basically what is managing their behavior.”
As the dentists begin treatment, they implement the basic principle of telling kids what they are going to do, showing them something, then doing it. That way, kids won’t have to fear the unknown.
“I never show them a needle or the drill. I show them something non-threatening,” Basiago said. “When we do a white filling, there a special light we shine on the filling to harden it. It’s a blue light and it makes a beep, and kids find that interesting—just that it is beeping and blue.”
Not only that, but the language used by staff members is also key; using words that are not technical or “scary” sounding helps put kids at ease.
“The hygienist likes to use language, like the little suction they use. They like to call it ‘Little Thirsty.’ Or the [dental] plaque on a tooth—rather than calling it ‘plaque,’ they’ll call them ‘sugar bugs.’”
Besides ensuring that a child feels mentally at-ease in an otherwise uncomfortable space, making sure they feel physically comfortable is also essential to a successful visit. No matter the extent of the work being done, the child’s best interest is always at heart when deciding how much work should be done at once.
“We really try to keep the appointment within the parameters of what a child can tolerate,” Basiago said. “We are not doing three to four fillings at once. We will break it up so we are accomplishing enough and not over-fatiguing them.”
But for the staff at Basiago Family Dentistry, treating children involves more than getting them through a single visit—it’s about teaching them the importance of good oral health. Dentists at Basiago use familiar, easy-to-understand language to stress the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth and why.
Once their visit has reached its end, kids will walk away with more than just an easy, informative visit to the dentist—they’ll be rewarded with charming items that will make them excited for every appointment.
“We have prizes, like a little treasure chest, out there that has little toys like a tooth keychain or stickers,” Basiago said. “We also have a thing called the No Cavity Club—if they have a checkup and no cavities, they get a certificate.”
Basiago Family Dentistry isn’t just great for the kids; they also provide quality dental services for the whole family. For more information and to request an appointment, visit http://www.longbeach-familydentist.com/ or call (562) 429-5965.