Who is the dentist for kids? He is friend with my teeth and teach me how my mouth will change over time…
Dentist for kids
The mouth has an extremely important role in our kids’ growth, because through it they learn to get to know the outside world, they develop the primary functions such as swallowing, phonation (articulating sounds and speech) and chewing.
This is why the pedodontist (dentist for kids) has a fundamental role in our clinic. She teaches them preventive measures to reduce the necessity of orthodontic treatments.
Following the oral growth of our youngest patients from their earliest ages is very important. This helps to maintain their “baby dentition” healthy, to “guide” its functional, morphological and sensorial growth, so to contribute to a correct global growth of the child.
The psychological approach dedicated to children
A good relationship between the dentist for kids and children determines their way of being patients for the rest of their lives.
Our approach has game and imagination stimulation as essential elements of the treatment to guarantee the most cooperation and the treatment success.
We then use non-pharmacological techniques (communicative and e behavioral ones: tell-show-do, positive support, non-verbal communication, distraction, etc..). In combination with these techniques, we use also pharmacological ones, useful to help kids, teenagers and people with disabilities to reduce anxiety, develop a positive attitude towards the orthodontic world and finishing dental treatments in a safe and efficient way.
During this delicate approach, our role as specialized pediatric dentist (pedodontist), allows us to choose the best approach based on the level of the child development and his/her inclination towards treatments. We are therefore able to evaluate the character and predict his/her response to dental treatments. This is where the skills of the pediatric dentists are tested: being able to choose the most appropriate method to reduce the level of anxiety of the kid they have in from of them.
In very difficult cases and interventions, it is possible to associate these techniques to specific practices of pharmacological anxiolysis, such as nitrous oxide, a non-toxic acid which effect ends immediately after removing the mask and which is used with the purpose of reducing anxiety, stress and vomiting reflex.
The first check-up
It represents an extremely important moment in the process of approach towards the orthodontic world and determines the establishment of a confidence and empathy feeling necessary to the success of the orthodontic therapy.
The dentist for kids will have to make the first check-up as positive, constructive and funny as possible. The ideal moment to suggest it is when the kid has not yet experienced dental problems nor painful diseases. The kid will then start to get confident with orthodontist, the devices used and will learn how to recognize the typical noises and smells of the dental office.
A first check-up with a demonstrative purpose, in addition to a cognitive one, can therefore be an advantage.
The treatment plan
The treatment plan is also important, as it accompanies the kid until adult age and it enables him/her to develop correct habits which will accompany him/her during adult life. During this phase, the dentist for kids provides the useful information for a correct oral hygiene, recommendations on good dietary habits and evaluates, together with the family, the best treatment plan for a healthy and harmonic oral growth. This is done by integrating prevention protocols, interceptive surveys and therapies to correct possible functional disorders.
Orthodontics for kids
Between the age of 3 and 6, we suggest you to take your kid to see a dentist specialized in Orthodontics.
This is the best moment to evaluate the health conditions of the structures which make up the craniofacial architecture. We also identify possible development anomalies regarding the position of jawbone and teeth, which can later alter the kid’s oral condition as well his/her body.
It is known by now how a wrong development of maxillary bones and an altered function of the stomatognathic system (chewing, breathing, swallowing) can affect negatively on the posture, on the function and movement of other body parts.
Intercepting before the age of 6 the signals of a dento-skeletal disharmony enables to correct them and treat them more efficiently.
In this first phase – called interceptive – various specialists, such as the orthodontist, the speech therapist, the osteopath and the otolaryngologist can work together with the pedodontist (dentist for kids) as the union of these different approaches allows to reach the most complete and permanent correction of any functional disorder.
Thanks to the use of removable orthodontic appliances and reeducation exercises, we are able to arrange a correct relationship between dental arches and create enough room for dental alignment, as well as correct tongue and perioral muscles movements.
The phase of early treatment does not erase the possible necessity of an orthodontic treatment in permanent dentition (second phase), but it does make it simpler.
The environment is also important because the place where we welcome and treat kids (waiting room) must be comfortable and familiar, able to cuddle them and make them feel safe.
We want that, from the moment the kid enters the waiting room, he/she feels that the place is thought for him/her. We have a big blackboard to draw or do homework, a table to read and paint, stuffed animals of various sizes, a TV which tells them how other kids/cartoons have faced treatments with a smile. Of course we also have DOC LEO, our mascot who, in the form of an animated stuffed animal or poster on the walls, helps us to establish a peaceful and playful dialogue with our youngest patients.
A colored door separates the waiting room from the orthodontic offices and marks the entrance to the DOC LEO world, where kids will see their dentist friend working with “magic instruments”, such as the armchair which goes up and down.
He is funny and helps our doctors in their daily job. He also helps kids how to brush their teeth, who are friends of their smile and who are enemies. He also teaches them not to be afraid of the dentist. His tools are fondness, a small booklet to color and read, a crown and a medal which honour courage, his inevitable balloons and colored bracelets.