HOW DO I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR THE FIRST VISIT:

We encourage you to prepare your child for a visit to the pediatric dentist before the first appointment. For young children, many excellent books and videos can be found that describe a visit to the dentist (we do recommend however that you read through these before you read them to your child, some are friendlier than others). Convey good feelings about the dental visit as being a part of growing up. Let your child know they are going to learn lots of new ways to make their teeth sparkle and enjoy a healthy smile. We make the experience fun!

Morning appointments are recommended for little ones when they are refreshed and more accepting of new experiences. If you expect your child to react well, chances are very good your child will enjoy the first visit to our office. In addition to preparing your child for the important first visit, please provide all information pertinent to your child's dental, medical and social situation on the health forms you will be given by our office. This will enable us to provide the best possible care for your child.

WHAT GOES ON AT THE FIRST VISIT:

If there is anything you would like us to know (in private) before we see you child, please make sure to let our front desk know so that we may notify the doctor. We try very hard to make your child's treatment physically comfortable and enjoyable. All of our care is based on the behavior management technique Tell-Show-Do. What is Tell-Show-Do? This technique prepares your child for dental treatment by telling and showing your child what we are going to do before we do it. During all visits, we believe in giving your child lots of praise. We begin the first visit by introducing the office environment and the staff.

For children two and above, we recommend an oral examination, a cleaning, the application of fluoride, and any necessary radiographs (x-rays). After a thorough study of our findings, we will prepare and discuss a treatment plan for your child's dental needs. This plan will provide guidance on dental and oral development, fluoride status, oral habits, injury prevention, oral hygiene, and the effects of diet on the dentition.

Dr. Perez prefers that parents/caretakers be present with the children for the first visit. However, please do not be upset if your child cries. We are trained to help fearful children through their dental experience. As your child matures, it is our goal to encourage your childs independence in the dental setting and work to prevent any future mouth problems. Please permit us the time to develop a rapport with your child.

WHAT IS "LAUGHING GAS":

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your pediatric dentist will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.

SEDATION DENTISTRY:

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.

Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require sedation.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your pediatric dentist about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your pediatric dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

Broken Tooth
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Teeth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Tooth ache
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.

NOT SO EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

Bleeding after baby tooth falls out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.

Cold or Canker sores
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.