Dr. Macalik loves treating kids, and if you are seeking a pediatric dentist who can take care of your children, you don’t need to look any further than our general dentist office. Because we treat both children and adults, we are able to treat your entire family, giving you both the convenience and security of one office and one dentist you can trust. Dr. Macalik recommends bringing your children to their first appointment around the age of two or three to get them accustomed to our office and to the routine of having regular dental checkups.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a licensed specialist who is required to take two years of post-graduate training. Dr. Macalik is not a pediatric dentist; however, pediatric dentistry was part of her dental school curriculum, so she has the qualifications, skills, and knowledge to take care of your child’s basic dental needs and to guide your child in establishing good oral hygiene practices. In the unlikely situation that your child would need to see a pediatric dentist specialist, Dr. Macalik will be happy to make a referral.
Good Oral Health Habits
One of the healthiest attitudes we can instill in our children is an understanding of the importance of keeping teeth healthy and clean. Let your children watch as you brush and floss your own teeth. Discuss the importance of regular visits to the dentist in taking good care of your teeth. To minimize your child’s anxiety, take him or her along when you visit the dentist. It’s crucial that children not feel frightened of the dentist when it is their turn for an appointment.
Pediatric Dentistry Tips for Parents
- As soon as your children’s teeth appear (around the age of 6 to 11 months), you need to start cleaning them. When they’re just a baby, use a cloth.
- When their baby molars come in (around the age of 2 years), you’ll need a toothbrush to clean them well. Start doing it for them, and let them take over as they are able to.
- When baby molars come in is also a good time to start flossing their teeth for them. They usually won’t have the dexterity to be able to do this themselves until they’re about eight or so.
- One of the worst things you can do is threaten them that they will get cavities and have some kind of awful, scary experience in the dental chair if they don’t brush. You can make your child almost impossible to treat that way, and the dental trauma they experience can cause them to totally avoid dental care and ruin their adult teeth.
A great way to help motivate children to brush and floss is to get them to associate a clean mouth with smelling nice. If they claim they have brushed, ask to smell their mouth to check. You’ll be able to tell easily if they have or not. If you smell toothpaste, compliment them on the clean smell. If not, make a face and tell them they need to do better. One dentist father we heard of once had a child who was dawdling in getting ready for bed, and he hadn’t brushed his teeth yet. So he told the child he was tired of him taking so long, and, as a punishment, he would not get to brush his teeth–he would have to go to bed with stinky breath. The child cried, but the dad stuck to his guns. Always after that, that son was excellent about brushing his teeth on his own and carried his good dental habits into adulthood.
Dr. Macalik can give you tips on how to encourage good oral hygiene habits between visits to the office. She also offers dental sealants, which can help keep permanent teeth cavity-free.
What Your Child Can Expect
From the very first time your child comes in Dr. Macalik’s office, we’ll work at getting to know him or her and helping them be glad to be here. If your child is apprehensive about the visit, we will ensure the visit is tailor-made to calm any fears. Our primary goal is to make it an enjoyable experience, to help your child develop healthy attitudes about dental care and prevention.
Visiting the dentist can actually be fun! Call us to make an appointment, or visit our request an appointment page.