Going to the dentist as a kid can be unsettling – but good oral health habits are so important to develop during this time in child’s life. So what’s a parent to do? Well, we asked Dr. Alena Sergaeva, board certified pediatric dentist at South Boston Family Dental, what are some ways to keep your little one from being afraid of the dentist.
Find the right dental practice and stick with it.
According to Dr. Sergaeva, kids are more at ease when surrounded by friendly familiar faces. Chose a practice that your child can grow up with. Finding a place where trust can be built is key – a place where they feel safe and comfortable. “Kids are eager to learn and they are very inquisitive. If you truly engage with them, you will have their trust. But it is also important to try to maintain it at every visit ”
The first visit to the dentist can set the tone for a lifetime of care.
Usually first visits, dentist can explain what is going to happen during the exam. Using a tell-show-d0 method helps put kids at ease and can also gage your child’s comfort level. Pediatric dentist normally have additional training to help communicate and interact with kids. “Each child requires individual approach, the same techniques and ‘tricks” may not work on everyone in the same way. It’s very important to pay attention to every child ‘s needs and try to meet them during each treatment visit”
Start at home
Introduce brushing teeth at home and talk about the importance of having a healthy mouth and strong teeth. Keep the language simple and easy. “Use the word ‘sugar bugs’ instead of ‘bacteria’. Tell the child that the doctor will count your teeth and check on their brushing before the first visit ”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. If you have questions about your child’s first visit to the dentist, you are encouraged to reach out to South Boston Family Dental.
About Dr. Dr. Alena Sergaeva
Dr. Alena Sergaeva received her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from Stony Brook University, School of Dental Medicine. While at Stony Brook, Dr. Sergaeva became a recipient of various awards, including Presidential Award for Excellence in Dental Research. She completed her Pediatric Dentistry training in Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. After 2 years of practicing in private practice in NYC area, she returned to Brookdale University Medical Center and became a faculty in the pediatric dentistry residency program where she herself graduated. She also taught to dental residents in New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. While in dental school, she had the privilege of being one of the selected dental students to go on a dental outreach to rural Madagascar. Being part of the dental team in one of the poorest countries in the world is where she discovered her true passion for treating children. Dr. Sergaeva lives near Boston with her husband and 16 month-old son. She is an active member of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and a diplomate of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She also recently became a faculty at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
About South Boston Family Dental
Our practice has a family-like atmosphere, where we treat everyone like a family member. We use latest techniques and technology. We proudly provide smiles to South Boston since 1960.