Starting regular dental visits at an early age can set the stage for a lifetime of good oral health habits. From the time children’s first teeth erupt, it is beneficial for them to see a dentist on a regular basis to maintain their overall oral health. Although your child can visit any dentist, it is often worth the effort to find one that has experience in treating children.

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dental specialist who is well-trained to treat infants, children, adolescents, and children with special needs. To qualify as a pediatric dentist, an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited, post-doctoral course must be completed, along with at least two academic and clinical years in the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This extensive training provides pediatric dentists with the knowledge to treat children's specific dental and orthodontic needs, provide a positive dental experience, and to educate children on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

Why choose a pediatric dentist?

Because they are experienced in treating younger patients, pediatric dentists also tend to be better at handling the emotional and developmental issues that can have an impact on a child’s dental appointments. A trip to the dentist can be scary for people of any age, and this can be especially true for a young child who is not sure what to expect. Pediatric dentists like Drs. Mike and Carolyn Coppe have the educational training and skills to make children feel more comfortable and at ease during their dental visits, reassuring them and keeping their early experiences positive.

The Coppe + Sears office has tailored our dental practice to specifically cater to children. Our dentists and staff have years of experience treating children of all ages with the highest level of care. During a patient’s first visit, our staff will use reassuring words and phrases, such as asking younger children if they want to have their teeth "counted and brushed" rather than asking if they are ready for a "dental cleaning". To help children feel comfortable with our staff, we will often play games, sing songs, or let them get out of the dental chair to explore the treatment area. Bringing your child into a kid-friendly environment gives us the opportunity to make the appointment more interactive for everyone involved.

What does a pediatric dental office have to offer my child?

Social interaction is an important part of your child’s life. Children see it modeled from the schools they attend to the sports in which they participate. In an unfamiliar environment many children find comfort in groups, so our office is designed with this in mind.  We have larger, more open rooms equipped with multiple dental chairs. Adults are not used to this type of arrangement, but it is actually very beneficial for children. With this setup, your child will not feel alone during his or her dental procedures; furthermore, seeing others being treated can make children feel more at ease about their own treatment. Our newly-built state-of-the-art office also encourages socializing.  There is a small children’s play area in the reception space, a treasure chest for prizes after bigger procedures, iPads loaded with games to play while in the treatment area, and for a special treat, each patient who visits the office receives the biggest balloon you’ve ever seen!

Pediatric dentists can help take the worry out of dental visits

For young children, visiting the dentist can be scary at times; therefore, we strive to minimize any anxieties or fears children may have. Our staff practices the "tell, show, do" method to help pediatric patients understand what is happening during their appointment. We use phrases such as "put your tooth to sleep" when numbing the teeth, "put vitamins on your teeth" as we apply fluoride, or "take pictures of your teeth" to describe the X-ray process.

Additionally, we understand that parents can have their own anxieties about dental care, and we feel that it is important to avoid projecting those fears onto your child. If you are uncertain about how to accomplish this, Drs. Coppe or Sears will be happy to provide you with tips and advice. By allowing our pediatric dentists to detail the specifics of your child’s treatment, you convey to them your confidence and trust in us, which leads to a more positive and enjoyable dental visit for parents, children, and staff alike.