TIPS FOR TOT'S FIRST TRIP TO THE DENTIST
Concord, MA--- The ADA recommends that a child visit the dentist for the first time within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than his or her first birthday. Unfortunately many parents are reluctant to schedule their children for early dental screenings due to the stress and anxiety associated with the first visit. There is a company out of Concord, MA called Boggle Goggle Enterprises that is offering a unique way to help prepare young children for their first visits.
Established by two women, Martha Seely and Claudia Miller-Snyder, this company has created a multi-award winning video entitled ?Pinatta?s View- A Trip To the Dentist? which allows young children to prepare for a dental visit through visual and audible practice.
Written by Claudia Miller-Snyder of Amherst, Ohio and produced by Martha Seely in Carlisle, MA, this video is filmed from a child's point of view, just 40 inches high, and utilizes puppets and original music to allow a child to meet the dentist and hygienist, see the instruments they will use and become familiar with the sights and sounds trip from their own unique perspective.
The video has won the Aegis Award, the US and International Film and Video Festival Award and is the recent recipient of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award for 2002. It is also endorsed by Kid?s First and Dove Foundation and was recently chosen by Meg?s Gifts Charity to be a part of a package provided to hospitalized children nationwide, to provide comfort and support during their treatment and hospital stays.
They offer these tips for preparing the young child for a first trip to the dentist:
1. Take your child with you on your own dental visit beforehand. It will familiarize them with the sights, sounds, and staff.
2. Practice taking a trip to the dentist in your own home using simple props and role-playing. It gives a child the opportunity to practice sitting still, with a light shining on them, while you count their teeth. Switch roles and allow the child to portray the dentist to your uncooperative ?patient?. They'll understand quickly how hard a "squirmy" patient can be! (Prepare a ?prop bag? of the household props you use to make the practice a convenient, repeated activity.)
3. Assist your child in teeth brushing. Use a mirror so they can watch. Make it fun. It helps them become comfortable with another pair of hands in their mouth.
4. Watch videos and read books with your children about going to the dentist. It allows them to visually and audibly practice the activity and stimulates questions and conversation about the visit.
5. Encourage your child?s school or daycare to invite a hygienist or dentist to the classroom. A dental professional can introduce the actual instruments and answer important questions.
6. Attend regular checkups and remain upbeat in your own discussions regarding the dental experience. Children develop a great deal of their feelings about the dentist from their parents? behavior.
7. Allow plenty of time to arrive and greet the staff on the day of the visit. All the preparation in the world won't alleviate the stress caused by a frantic rush to the appointment.
For more information on ?Pinatta?s View- A Trip To the Dentist? and Boggle-Goggle Enterprises, please contact: www.pinatta.com