When should my child see the dentist for the first time?
We agree with the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, which says that your child should have their first dental visit by their first birthday.
Did you know that more than one in four U.S. children have cavities by the time they are four years old? Getting an early start will give you the best chance to create a customized preventative treatment plan to avoid cavities. The plan can be adapted and changed as your child grows and develops.
We’ll work with you at every appointment and discuss what you can expect in growth and development in between check-ups. We'll also answer your questions about how your child is developing. Parents often worry about habits like pacifier use and thumb sucking, and we are happy to discuss these concerns with you.
Another good reason for your child to start seeing a dentist early is that it helps to make dental visits a normal part of your child’s routine. This will help prevent problems with anxiety and phobia in the future. Additionally, normalizing dental care will help influence your child's self-care, setting the stage for your child to live a healthier life.
I don’t think my child will cooperate. Should I still come in?
It is especially important to bring your child in if you are worried about cooperation.
Allow us to show your child around the office and demonstrate how easy and fun it can be coming to Hingham Pediatric Dentistry. We would rather meet your child for several happy visits so that they can get to know our office and build trust with our team. This way, if your child ever needs dental work or has an emergency, cooperation will be easier because they are already familiar with the office and will have established a level of trust with us.
We have a number of techniques that we can use to help guide your child's behavior. Modeling, positive reinforcement, and distraction can work wonders! You might be surprised at what we can achieve!
It's important to remember that we have truly seen it all. We are patient and compassionate and understand that dental visits can be a scary new experience. We'll take our time and let you and your child guide us so that we can build rapport and trust.
If your child continues to feel distress, we can discuss nitrous oxide. This sedating gas is highly effective and extremely safe – even for young children!
Do you take x-rays? Are they safe for children?
X-rays are an important diagnostic tool that allows us to detect cavities between the teeth early on when fixing them is easier and less expensive. We also use radiographs to monitor your child’s growth and development. There are certain dental issues that can arise in a growing child that can be detected earliest on a radiograph, again allowing for a timely intervention.
We use digital radiography in our office and always use appropriate shields when taking images to minimize your child’s exposure. We use x-rays sparingly and only when indicated. This is based on your child’s risk for developing cavities and not by any sort of universal rules.
At Hingham Pediatric Dentistry, we'd prefer to practice conservative dentistry whenever we can. X-rays allow us to do exactly that. We'd much rather find a problem when it's small. Not only is fixing smaller problems cheaper for you, it also prevents your child from experiencing pain caused by extensive decay or infection – and we know how important that is for you! Small problems caught early on have simpler fixes, which will be much easier for your child.
Do you recommend fluoride?
Fluoride is typically applied to your child’s teeth after a cleaning. For those children with a high risk of cavities, we may recommend additional topical fluoride treatments as part of a customized plan to reduce the likelihood of further decay. We'd always prefer to prevent a problem than treat one later.
If you have any questions or concerns about fluoride, we invite you to give us a call or discuss your concerns with us at your child's next appointment.
How will you keep my child comfortable if dental work is needed?
We always explain what we are going to do, and we use kid-friendly words. While we understand that you might want to prepare your child and explain what’s going to happen at the appointment, we do ask that parents leave this discussion to us. Our staff is highly trained on just what to do and say to keep your child at ease. If you are concerned that your child needs advance preparation, please let us know, and we will advise you on a case-by-case basis.
For kids who are especially nervous, we have nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. We also make use of a number of other behavior-guidance techniques that are helpful for reducing anxiety and fear.
Distraction also helps! We have TVs mounted to the ceiling in the treatment rooms, but also fun things in the waiting room that will put them at ease before they even come back for their dental work.
We have plenty of experience working with kids who are feeling worried or unsure about care, and you'll be amazed at how skilled we are at making them comfortable and confident!
What types of insurance do you accept?
We accept most types of insurances. In order for us to best help you understand the ins and outs of your particular insurance plan (because they are all different!), please call our office with your insurance card information.
We're currently contracted with the following insurance companies:
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Dental Network of America
Neighorhood Health/ Minuteman Health
As a courtesy, we will submit your dental claims to your insurance company. Because we know no one likes surprises, we will do our best to provide accurate estimates for the patient portion of treatment prior to work being done.
We do ask for payment of that estimated portion at the time of service. If you have any additional questions regarding your insurance, please feel free to call. We are very experienced at handling these questions and are happy to help!
Are you accepting new patients?
Absolutely! We are always accepting new patients, and we look forward to meeting you and your child!
How can I help my child stay calm?
6 Ways to Help Your Child Stay Calm at the Dentist:
Remember, calm is contagious – and so is anxiety! When parents are nervous, kids can tell. Keep calm, and all will go well.
Catch those zzzz's! Make sure your child gets lots of sleep before the appointment. A full night's sleep or a nap can help things go smoothly.
Keep kids busy. Distract them with books, music, or their favorite video game.
Food. Hungry kids are NOT going to be happy kids. Eat a healthy snack before you get to the dentist. No sugary treats, of course!
Comfort items can help ease stress. Bring a bear to hold or a blanket to cuddle.
Praise your child for good behavior during and after a successful visit. Make their visit a positive experience that they can be happy about.
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office (781) 474-7865