Philosophy – A Gentle Experience
What to Expect…an experience like no other !
Welcome to My Dentist, the home of Dr. Dave Seman and Dr. Richard Knight’s Pediatric Dental Group. You have paid us an amazing compliment by choosing us to provide the finest in dental care available to your child and we look forward to meeting and surpassing all your expectations. We differ from other offices that you may have visited and we offer a totally unique experience that originates from over 25 years of caring for local families. It is all about a gentle experience for not only children, but their parents as well.
Our “dental home” is created to be an ongoing relationship between your child, you the parent and all our experienced people. We want to be a resource for answering all your dental questions as well as monitoring your child’s oral development and growth. We emphasize preventative dentistry, make referrals when appropriate and provide your child with a familiar place in case of emergency needs. Having a “dental home” enhances our ability to assist your child and you in the quest for optimal oral health. We invite you to arrive beginning with the first visit by age 1. This introduces your child to our family of talented and kind specialists and provides a forum for you, the parent, to learn about all the things you can do for your little ones to experience a lifetime of super healthy teeth. Early dental visits allow us to discuss proper infant oral health care, teach lifelong habits and takes preventive steps to avoid cavities and serious orthodontic problems. Dr. Seman and Dr. Knight specialize in educating parents at every visit with “the secrets” to a gorgeous and bright smile.
The age 1 dental visit begins when one of our soft spoken dental assistants greets you and your child in the reception area and escorts you into our large open and bright spaces where we can get to know you both. After reviewing your needs and questions, Dr. Seman or Dr. Knight will swing by to meet with you and say “hello”. At this visit, he will also perform an oral screening, provide you with oral hygiene instructions and discuss pacifier, finger or other oral habits. Traditionally, this visit is done with the child laying on mom or dad’s lap. After visualizing all the oral structures, you and the he can sit and ask all of those burning questions you always wanted answers to…
First Visit for Older Children
If you have a young child, you are encouraged to stay with your child for their first visit. It is important to develop a sense of trust between our dental team, you and your child. As your child gets older and more comfortable with our folks, you may encourage your child to come back on their own so that our team can develop a trust and rapport with your child. We understand that every child is different and there is no definitive rule on when they want to be seen on their own. Based on your child’s specific needs, Dr. Seman and Dr. Knight might make some recommendations on the best time to begin to develop an individual relationship with your child and our team, but parents are always welcome to “sneak-a-peak” during dental visits should they so desire.
For older children, our staff likes to begin their first visit by giving a tour of the office to your child. Many times we will let the kids relax and get used to our office by watching other children having similar treatments or cleanings. Once your child feels more comfortable with their surroundings, we will begin “show and tell” with all our dental tools and gadgets. We encourage the child to actively participate in the visit by asking any questions that they might have. Parents are often encouraged to “sneak-a-peek” during the visit as seeing is believing! Mom’s and Dad’s are usually shocked and amazed how well their children perform and enjoy their first visit. It’s all about compassion, positive reinforcement, and some tender loving care.
This first visit typically consists of a complete dental examination, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. This includes checking for cavities, gum disease, checking the bite for correct alignment of the jaws and checking the development of the teeth. X-rays will be taken based on the individual needs of your child. The appointment also includes a final consultation with you and your doctor to address any further questions or necessary dental treatment recommendations that he may have. Every appointment ends with some take home goodies for your child and a trip to the prize box for a job well done!
What You Can Do to Make Your Child’s First Visit Enjoyable and Positive
Our entire staff is dedicated to providing a thorough and gentle dental experience. We take pride to make each child’s dental visit a pleasant one. You can play a large part in preparing your child for his/her first visit to the dentist. We would like to make a few suggestions to prepare your youngster for the initial visit.
- First, present the visit as an exciting experience for yourself and for your child.
- Second, tell your child that we will “count,” “brush,” and “take pictures” of their teeth. By explaining the exam and the cleaning in these terms, your child will better understand the situation.
- Try to act relaxed and at ease. Your child will probably sense any anxiety on your part.
- Avoid negative phrases such as “hurt,” “drill,” “pull,” and “shot.”
The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message but are pleasant and non-frightening to children. It is important to be positive regardless of the your own past dental experiences. This initial examination involves nothing uncomfortable and should be perceived by the child as non-threatening. It is our job to make this an amazingly positive and above all….epic experience for them and you. We look forward to meeting you and addressing all your concerns. Welcome home.
It can be a challenge to effectively teach children about teeth. We want to give just the right amount of information in such a way that it will not cause alarm or overwhelm them, while at the same time making it fun and interesting. We wonder what details should be discussed, what words should be used, and how we should deliver the massage.
Here are a few books that can help you talk to your children about dentistry. If you have other recommendation, please let us know. (We have these books if you would like to review them before making a purchase)
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World, By Selby B Beeler:
What do you do when you lose a tooth? Do you put it under your pillow and wait for the tooth fairy? Not if you live in Botswana! In Botswana kids throw their teeth onto the roof. In Afghanistan they drop their teeth down mouse holes, and in Egypt they fling their teeth at the sun! Travel around the world and discover the surprising things children do when they lose a tooth.
Doctors note: This is a fun book to reference. It isn’t a story as much as an interesting book to see what other people do with their teeth.
The Tooth Book: A guide to healthy teeth and gums, By Edward Miller
Crunch! Munch! Most kids take their teeth for granted. However, without their pearly whites it would be much harder for them to eat, smile, and talk. Edward Miller provides more than a mouthful of good advice on dental hygiene in this accessible guidebook that makes learning how to care for your teeth fun.
Doctors Note: This book has a great deal of valuable information for parents and educators. It sums up a lot of dental information in a manner that children can understand. However, this is more an aid for parents than a story to read to your children.
You Think its Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? By Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
All over America, kids are losing their teeth. And who is there to gather them up, leaving coins in their places? The Tooth Fairy, of course! A self-described “action kind of gal” with plenty of attitude, she reveals her secrets at last. Learn about her amazing Tooth-o-Finder. Marvel at her ingenious flying machine. Watch her in action, dodging dogs and cats and gerbils. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? is the essential guide for every kid about to lose a tooth. And don’t forget, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Doctors Notes: This is an illustrated story with about 30 words per page. It is a fun look at a day in the life of the tooth fairy.
How Many Teeth? By Paul Showers
When you were a baby, you didn’t have any teeth at all. Then as you grew, your teeth started to come in. First one, then two – and finally, twenty teeth in all!
But you won’t keep these teeth forever. First one, then two, will wiggle loose. Maybe you’ve lost some of your first teeth already. When the little teeth come out and the big teeth come in, everyone can see – you’re growing up.
Introduces teeth, describing how many we have at various stages of life, why they fall out, and what they do.
Doctors Notes: Of all the books here, this one is only so-so. However, it can help your child become comfortable about losing their teeth.
SpongeBob Squarepants: Behold, No Cavities! By Nickelodeon
SpongeBob can’t wait for his six-month checkup at the dentist! That morning he discovers that not only has Patrick never gone to the dentist, but he never even brushed his teeth! SpongeBob calls his dentist and gets Patrick an appointment that same day. SpongeBob is expecting another cavity-free checkup and getting his name put up on the No Cavity-Tree again when he learns some horrifying news! Will Patrick’s name replace SpongeBob’s name on the No Cavity-Tree? Will SpongeBob ever be cavity-free again?
Doctors Notes: Yes, I know that watching Spongebob might not make your children smarter, but of all the books with popular characters, I feel this would be the best. It does not over-emphasize fear and discomfort, and it does not have any scary pictures… At least not as much as the other “character” books.
What to Say, and What Not to Say
Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for a First Filling Visit
So your little one has his/her first cavity. You are devastated and worried how they will survive their first restorative experience…
First and most importantly, the young child should not be made to feel bad for acquiring cavities…it is usually not their fault. The diet is most often the culprit and together you and your child can work to modify and regulate the amounts of sugary foods in the diet as well as improve on brushing habits.
It is always best that you do not go into great detail when you tell your little one that he/she is returning for a filling. We recommend that you simply explain that they have some small holes in their teeth that need to be carefully cleaned and washed away. Dr. Seman/Dr. Knight will be using a special water sprayer, like the mini shower, to remove the stains and debris. Their teeth will then be back to being white and sparkly. Assure them that there will be no pain or discomfort and that nothing will hurt. Today with the use of modern topical anesthetics, your child will likely never even suspect they had an injection of any kind……unless you tell them!
In most cases, we find that children do better for their filling appointments when parents stay in the reception area. Your children will then look for all the information about what is going on from us and not the parent, who may have some anxiety about how they will perform. If you do choose to come to the back, we ask that you are a silent observer during the treatment. It can be challenging for your child to focus and follow directions if there are several adults giving directions at the same time.
Dr. Seman and Dr. Knight and staff will show and explain every step, even demonstrating the tools first on your child’s fingers before they proceed. We always use gentle, non-scary language. Please do not tell your child they are getting a “shot.” Their experience is that shots can hurt at the pediatrician’s office and using this word may scare them about their dental treatment. We prefer to call giving local anesthesia(injections) “using sleepy spray” or “sleepy water” to make their tooth comfortable and pain free. Most children tolerate dental injections very well and usually don’t even know they received an injection, especially when they are calm, relaxed and their gum tissues are numbed well.
Studies have shown that children sense their parents’ anxiety about their own past dental experiences and this directly impacts their apprehension level and ability to tolerate treatment. Always be positive and reassuring without relaying anxiety, despite your own possible negative previous experiences. Then continue positive reinforcement after the dental visit. This makes your child feel good about herself/himself and encourages positive future visits. Dentistry has come a long way in just the past few years and can be most enjoyable and relaxing when delivered by Dr. Seman and Dr. Knight. Please be assured that our experienced team of professionals will do everything to make your child’s visit a positive and comfortable one. Parents are always pleasantly surprised by how well their children do at My Dentist!
Why We Don’t Sedate