Your Smile Dental Care blog

19-09-2016-9-54-52-am


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You Don’t Need to Fear the Dentist!

 

Avoiding the Dentist?

Covering mouthIf the mere thought of going to the dentist causes your heart to race and your hands to sweat you are not alone. While many people will choose to make dental health care one of their New Year priorities, according to Statistics Canada more than 40% of Canadian will give the dentist the brush-off because of dental anxiety.

Although there has been many significant advances in dental techniques and technology, many people still feel uncomfortable in a dental office. This is because the body is simply amazing! It is designed for self-preservation and is equipped with an incredible internal response system when it senses danger. Even when you brain attempts to rationalize and calm your fears, your body may already be sending you the strong urge to escape.

It’s no wonder people avoid coming to the dentist or cancel their dental appointments. Trying to reason with such a strong fight/flight/freeze mechanism can be challenging. You may not be able to eliminate all of your fears, but you can learn to manage them despite your body’s physical reactions.

If you are determined to make your health and well-being a priority this year here’s what:

You Can Do…

1. Admit your fears – If you are already thinking about going to the dentist you are likely already feeling anxiety. Discuss you concerns with a trusted, empathetic person. Avoid speaking to someone who may intensify and reinforce your fears by recalling their own fears or experiences. We are also here to listen and help make your visits to us as comfortable as possible.

laptop-and-cellphone-1269437-m2. Look for a new dentist – If you do not already have a dentist , email or call around to look for a dental office to call home. Convey your fears and concerns to them then review their responses. Did they respond? Did you feel rushed on the phone? Did the staff sound informative and sympathetic? Although time-consuming, this will help you narrow down your search which will save time in the long run. Perhaps you would like to visit the dental office first and meet the staff. If taking a tour will help, a good office will be proud to show off their practice. Finding an office that is willing to help you become more comfortable right from the get go will most likely be there to help you cope with your fears and concerns in the future. If you think you have found the right place schedule an exam then proceed to a cleaning.

3. Know your fear – Let us know what you like or dislike. Is it the noises? Fear of the needle? Water in your mouth? A past experience? Perhaps you prefer to be in control or like distractions. If you can identify the source of your fear or already know what puts you at ease then communicate this to us and together we can find a solution. Everyone prefers anxiety-free surroundings – even us!

4. Know the facts – Although, we always explain what we are doing to our patients, some people need more information in order to feel in control of a situation. If however, knowing too much will aggravate your fears, let us know and we will inform and assure without alarming you further. Everyone has their own comfort level. Let us know yours.

5. Don’t hurry – If you are not in need of immediate dental care then why hurry? You’ve waited this long, so go slow and face your fears one step at a time. Start off with an examination. Once you have completed this stage and are ready you will be better prepared to move on to the cleaning appointment. If all goes well and you are in need of further care then we can take baby steps together!

29-12-2014 6-30-52 PM6. Be realistic – Your dental health is as individual and personal as your are and your treatment will be specific to your situation. Comparing dental treatments with friends is like comparing other health conditions. No two people are the same. Diagnosis and treatment recommendations depend on your pre-existing dental and health conditions. Short and long term prognosis depends on many factors such as severity of conditions, patient cooperation, health history, body response, maintenance, other conditions of the mouth, age and lifestyle. Understanding your current state of dental health will help you make informed decisions moving forward. Your dentist should be open to answering all of your questions, and if possible, offering treatment alternatives.

7. Control your imagination – Our imaginations can both amaze and terrify us and it is easy to conjure up all sorts of scenarios that will likely never occur.  Learning to tame your thoughts so that they do not interfere with your emotions will help empower you so that you can attend to your needs.

8. Find closure – Previous traumatic experiences or conditioning can severely immobilize a person and prevent them from ever moving forward. Speak with your family doctor or regional health department about your situation and ask them to refer you to a professional who deals specifically with these types of fears so that you can begin to take your first steps towards recovery.

04-08-2014 11-54-04 PM9. Bring a friend – Sometimes, bringing along a friend or family member or even a stuffed animal can put you more at ease. If you wish, you can appoint them as your advocate who can help ask questions and communicate your fears and concerns. If having them in the treatment room helps perhaps you dentist will allow you to have this support as long as they do not aggravate an already anxious situation.

10. Bring your own music – Although we have music in our operatories, sometimes people would rather bring their own devices and listen to their own music. Whatever helps!

11. Be a good role model – If you do not want your children living a life of fear you must help them develop positive and responsible attitudes. Studies have shown that most children are more likely to pattern their future choices and behaviours after their parents and carry the habits they learn as children into adulthood and throughout their lives. Your positive remarks and optimistic outlook about dental care will empower your children and help to ensure that they will continue to benefit from your great example!

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We Can…

29-12-2014 6-35-38 PMWelcome you – At Your Smile Dental Care we strive to make you feel comfortable and valued from the warm welcome that greets you at each visit to the high degree of personal attention we offer you throughout your treatment. We understand the importance of gentle dental care and always encourage open communication. Most of our new patients found us by word of mouth. We appreciate the care entrusted to us and consider these referral from family and friends the greatest compliment a dentist can receive.

Provide sympathy – We do more than just work on teeth. First and foremost, we recognise these teeth are attached to a person who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. We all have fears. Dealing with patient fears is what we are trained for and being afraid means different things to different people. A person’s true feelings can manifest themselves in a whole host of ways. Some people react physically with tense muscles, rapid breathing or heart rate, nausea, sweating, and dizziness, while others become angry, silent, or talkative. We must always be sensitive to the fact that, in a dental setting, a person may have difficulty conveying their thoughts, feelings and opinions. Patience with our patients is key while we strive to reduce their anxieties and allay their fears while providing painless, quick treatments.

Stay up to date – A good dentist and staff continually strives to provide the best possible care for their patients so that they have the option to choose the best treatments available today. Staying current on all the latest techniques and technologies helps a dentist to obtain and maintain a level of care that meets or even exceeds industry standards. Ask your dentist and staff what they do to stay up to date. They should be proud to tell you!

shaking-hands-1097209-mEstablish trust – We believe that clear and concise communication is the cornerstone of trust in dentistry. The patient/dentist relationship depends on a solid foundation of trust. We know that if a patient has had trust issues in the past with a dentist or other healthcare provider it will influence how likely there are to trust another dentist. These past experiences sometimes makes it difficult for another dentist to gain a patient’s trust let alone form a lifelong partnership. We have seen firsthand that patients are more likely to follow through with advice and treatment and achieve optimal oral health when they trust their dentist.

Communicate – Patients appreciate clear, honest, and straightforward communication. Your dentist should face you when speaking, use plain, everyday language and avoid using terms that are too technical. It is important that you are asked if you understand the information being presented and be given the opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification. Most dental offices will have pamphlets or printed material on hand for you to take home for further reading. If you have further questions or concerns once you leave the office, do not hesitate to call your dentist.

Listen – We all know that communication involves being an active listener as well. Oftentimes, being a good listener requires that you pay attention to other cues and signals that a person may be giving. Anxiety and stress can make a person afraid to ask to have information clarified or cause a person to shut down making it further difficult for them to absorb information. We may explain a treatment plan and ensure that a patient has had the chance to ask questions and gather additional information, but we must always appreciate that sometimes information is still being digested by a person long after they have left the office. We aim to make certain that our patients understand their oral health care needs. This may require additional guidance by encouraging our patients to make further inquires if necessary.

Accommodate – We can schedule your appointments at a time and date that is best for you. Early morning appointment usually work best so that you are not worrying about your visit all day long. Perhaps spacing out your treatment over a series of shorter appointments or over an agreeable and suitable period of time will help you cope and manage your visits better. We offer a wide range of services for all ages including cosmetic, implant and emergency dentistry. We are wheel chair accessible and are able to move our dental chairs to accommodate most wheelchairs.

music-to-my-ears-40789-mProvide lifelines – Different people cope and manage their stress in different ways. Some people need distractions such as movies, music and periods of rest, while others need to feel in control at all times and like to watch using a hand held mirror. We allow our patients to stop treatment at any time by raising their hand. Sitting up briefly, going for a short walk or having a responsible and trusted family member or friend present in the room can also be beneficial. We offer conscious sedation in the form of laughing gas to calm fears and we have throat spray to help alleviate gagging.

Professional – As stated earlier, every patient deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. We never make our patients feel ashamed or embarrassed about the condition of their teeth or that they have not attended to regular dental care in the past. We are all about moving forward. If you made it through our doors and into the dental chair that is incredible progress which we believe is cause for celebration. We treat all patients equally, while offering personalized, individual care. In return, all we ask is that our patients respect our time  and commitment also by honouring the appointment times we schedule for them or informing us of appointment changes well in advance so that we can care for another patient in need. Maintaining regular oral care visits will also help us to detect problems early so that we can help you avoid repeated crisis situations.

Follow up – Don’t be surprised if we provide some TLC with an after care telephone call just to see how you are managing. It’s our way of letting your know that we care for you and your health long after you have left our office. This also allows you to make further inquires or gage the progress of your recovery.

Offer payment plans – If the cost of your treatment is the source of your stress, you can discuss your payment options with our friendly staff. If you qualify, we can help you set up a committed repayment schedule that allows you to achieve oral health sooner than later.

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Your First Step

The first step to successfully managing anxiety is learning to understand and recognize it. Although your body is designed to become anxious around perceived threats, it becomes a problem when you cannot control your fears when there is no real danger. We understand that your fears are real, but when they prevent you from taking charge of your dental needs conditions will only worsen causing you further grief.

This year resolve to make dental care a normal part of your life. Dr. Axelrod and his team of caring professionals at Your Smile Dental Care have helped thousands of people conquer their dental fears, take control of their oral care and achieve optimal oral health. As you get to know and trust us, you will soon find that your fears will lessen and your anxiety levels will become more manageable.

Remember…you are not alone!

Yours in better health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 5SMILES (576-4537)
(416) 783-3533

27-06-2016 12-14-49 PM


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Does pain go away after a root canal?

The Nerve of this Tooth!!!

Most people know that root canal treatment involves treating the “nerve” centre of the tooth, so it is understandable when patients are surprised to feel post treatment sensations after a root canal.

They are also surprised,  however, to learn that, although root canal treatment (endodontics) is time-consuming, it is no where near the horror stories they have heard. In fact, so routine and uneventful are most procedures that some of our patients have actually fallen sleep. The confusion, we believe, comes from the excruciating pain that some people experience before seeking the relieving treatment provided by a dentist. Perhaps, it’s what stands out most in their mind.

A root canal is a procedure that involves treatment to the inside, pulpal area of a tooth. Although we tend to think of our teeth as hard, rigid structures, the inside is fleshy and is made up of nerves, lymphatic tissue and blood supply that enter into the tooth through a hole at the end of each tooth. Usually this fleshy “pulpal tissue” needs to be removed once it becomes infected or tooth decay is deep enough to reach this area of the tooth.

Recovery

Even though the nerves of the tooth that allowed you to feel hot and cold sensations have been removed, there are other tissues and ligaments that are typically damaged by the presence of infection. These tissues need healing time and tenderness is not uncommon after treatment. How sensitive your tooth will be after root canal treatment depends on how severe the damage to the pulp and how involved the treatment was. The aim during the procedure is to remove all of the infected tissue and bacteria from within the chamber and root portion of the tooth, clean and disinfect the inside of the canals, then seal the end of each root.

“I can’t believe I was going to have the tooth removed!”

08-06-2015 9-24-20 AMMost people who have been experiencing a lot of discomfort prior to treatment find much needed relief after the root canal has been completed, but like the cleaning out of any wound, it typically takes a few days for a tooth to “settle down” and recover.  During this time, residual infection outside the tooth is clearing up and affected ligaments are healing. Your dentist will usually recommend that you take a pain reliever that is also an anti-inflammatory to help reduce any pain and swelling.

Sometimes, depending on how severe the infection was, it can take a few weeks for infection to clear up. The blood vessels in the jaws are tiny and do their best to take away infection and bacteria. You can discuss the need for antibiotics with your dentist to help things along.

However, If the pain you are experiencing is like a toothache and happens only when you are biting down then it is likely that your bite is high. A simple and quick bite adjustment usually brings immediate relief to this type of sensitivity.

Typically, any pain or discomfort that is felt after a successful root canal should be mild to moderate and get progressively better as healing continues. If, however, you are still experiencing discomfort after a few weeks or the pain is increasing in intensity, contact your dentist and set up an appointment for a re-evaluation.

 

Complications that can arise:

If your root canal treatment was successful, your tooth should recover within a week to ten days. However, the tooth, like any other part of the body, can have residual issues and post treatment complications can arise after the root canal has been completed. A tooth with complicated anatomy can be a challenge for example.

If your tooth becomes re-infected, your dentist may suggest that the tooth be re-treated. There are a number of treatment options to retreat a root-canal to still save your tooth from extraction. Your dentist will re-evaluate your tooth and discuss the “specific to you” circumstances with you.

Although it is understandable that a patient may be disappointed and even dubious when treatment has failed, it is important to remember that just like other medical procedures, there is a certain percentage of cases that require additional therapy. A patient, in consultation with their dentist, will discuss the long term success of further treatment and consider all pertinent factors before deciding the lengths that each are willing to go in order to save a tooth.

Nobody wants to lose a tooth. A root canal helps to preserve your tooth in the jaw and allows it to function, but without sensation from within the tooth. Always keep you dentist informed of anything that you may consider to be unusual during your healing period.

anxious

Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

04-04-2016 3-12-11 PM


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Tips for a less Painful Dental Cleaning

Not everyone SMILES when having their teeth cleaned!

04-04-2016 3-25-58 PMNothing costs more in the long run like neglect.  This is why we promote regular dental re-care visits and cleanings so passionately. But for some people, cleanings are not exactly routine – they are painful!

A visit to the hygienist can be a real deal breaker when it comes to professional dental visits with some people avoiding cleanings at all costs. Technique is a learned skill. For some, it comes naturally, while for others it takes time to really hone their craft.

A good hygienist will be both thorough in their technique and gentle, but understand that dental scaling is often a tedious and time consuming process. The more build-up you have, the longer and more involved the procedure.

You can help predict your next cleaning experience by following some, if not all, of the following advice.

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1. The more frequent you have your teeth cleaned professionally, the less buildup there will be and the less tender and sensitive your gums will be.

2. Good home oral hygiene (especially flossing) helps to reduce the tartar accumulation. Oftentimes, using an electric toothbrush will do a more thorough job.

3. Take an anti-inflammatory before and after your appointment to reduce any discomfort during and after the cleaning.

4. Ask if you can have topical numbing spray/gel or have your teeth frozen (anesthetic) during the cleaning.

5. If your teeth are sensitive or you have gum recession, try switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth to build up some resistance in the sensitive areas.

6. You can reduce the chance of sensitive gum recession by not wearing them away with harsh toothbrushes, toothpastes or scrubbing action.

7. If you can identify exactly what exactly causes you discomfort during the cleaning (water-sprayer, ultrasonic cleaner etc…), perhaps your hygienist can offer an alternative cleaning method.

8. If you have a lot of tartar buildup, break up the cleaning over 2 or more appointments

9. Sometimes, an earlier appointment in the day will help if you find yourself more fatigued as the day wears on. Worth a try!

10. Ask around. Like any professional skill, it takes time to hone your craft, so to speak. If you feel that you need to switch hygienists, perhaps the office employs more than one or ask your family and friends for a good recommendation.

11. A scolding, judgmental hygienist can also be a painful experience. Advice can be given in a compassionate tone without reducing it to a lecture. Never be intimidated to the point where you let this type of conduct go unanswered. Let the hygienist AND the dentist know how you feel.

12. Do not judge the quality of dental treatment based on the absence of pain afterwards. If it has been a long while since you’ve had your teeth cleaned last, a good, thorough cleaning can leave gums swollen and sore. Your hygienist will tell you what to expect after your cleaning and what you can do to relieve post-cleaning discomfort.

 

There’s a saying – “A toothbrush can’t remove 6 months worth of tartar 30 minutes before your dental appointment.” Our goal is to help you have the best patient experience possible. Being an engaged advocate for yourself and taking responsibility for a healthier you by using the techniques described above will go a long way in improving your future dental cleanings.

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

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Feeling Anxious about your next Dental Visit?

Covering mouthWe get a lot of calls at Your Smile Dental Care from patients that suffer from what we call dental anxiety. Some people describe themselves as being dentalphobes and it is not uncommon for people to tell us that it has taken more than a year just to summon up the courage to make their first telephone call to our office.

Most people tell us that their fears stem from previous traumatic experiences as a child or in the past and this is usually the most common reason for dental fears. However, there are plenty of patients who confess that, although they have never had a bad experience at the dentist, the deep seated fears they harbour were instilled in them from another fearful person.


FACT: Dental Fear is one of the most common fears worldwide


At Your Smile Dental Care, we pride ourselves on making you feel happy that you finally walked through our doors. Putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable throughout your experience is just as important to us as it is to you.

Our dentists and hygienists ensure that you have a complete understanding of your dental health and treatment recommendations. Not only will they take the time to explain things to you, but they will also encourage you to ask all the questions you need to without being made to feel rushed. Our in house treatment coordinator, Tracy, will also go over everything with you so that there’s no confusion nor any apprehension about what kind of treatment you will be receiving.

We’re here to help alleviate any of the fears or anxieties you may have about going to the dentist.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMOftentimes, patients just want to have a pleasant distraction available during their appointment. Whether you prefer a movie, music, a soft blanket and pillow, a friend to accompany you into the treatment room or just a caring hand to hold, we’re here to make your experience as comfortable and as relaxing as we can for you. In addition, we offer conscious sedation dentistry (laughing gas) to help calm you during your appointment.


Many Big Journeys begin with Small Steps


25-02-2016 11-19-50 AMDon’t let fear keep you from the health you deserve. Take time for yourself and begin your journey to dental wellness today. Your first step can be a quick phone call, then next maybe an office visit just to meet us. It doesn’t cost a thing to start making inquiries and you need not commit to anything. First steps, baby steps, whatever you want to call it, taking it slowly, carefully and thoughtfully in the beginning is sometimes the best way to get things done eventually.

We understand this. Dental care is our job and our passion!

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Sam and his long term, committed, dental team know and appreciate the extra efforts some people have to make and the patience and understanding they need from us.

We care about you and Your Smile.
Let us help you make those first steps!


Have a Question?  Want to send us a quick message?
Need to make an appointment?

Click on the link below and one of our caring team members will contact you ASAP!

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

Parents in the Dental Treatment Room

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We treat many children in our practice. We also have many patients that have “grown up” in our practice. Caring for children can be challenging, but also very rewarding. It is tremendously satisfying to gain a child’s trust after managing their care under trying circumstances.

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It takes a village…

Seeing their confidence grow and knowing that they are leaving our office with a sense of accomplishment and pride makes everyone’s effort worthwhile. And when we say effort, we mean everyone’s – ours, the child and their parents/caregivers.

The influence parents/caregivers have over their child’s attitudes towards dental health and responsibility makes their role very significant to us and our efforts. Although, we may agree on what an ideal child patient may be like, there is not really what you would call a “typical” child patient. That is because the behaviours, needs and temperaments of children differ so vastly. In fact, a child may behave one way one day and entirely different the next visit. At Your Smile Dental Care we are parents ourselves, and as such, will treat you child as we would want our own children treated.

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Our goal is to complete the planned treatment safely and effectively and provide as comfortable and enjoyable an experience as possible. To accomplish this, we need the co-operation of both the child and parent. This brings into mind the question of …

Parents in the treatment room

We believe that you know your child best. You are oftentimes their only advocate. In the best interests of your child, we all must be on the same page when it comes to managing a fearful or difficult situation. Your child’s focus and attention is an essential part of allowing us to delivery safe, quality care. It is with this in mind that we offer the following guidelines to help to ensure the success of your child’s visit:

Anxious Parents
09-03-2015 4-47-39 PMOftentimes, a child’s visit to our office can be more distressing for a parent than the child. Parents can unknowing transmit their own anxieties and fears to their child which, in turn, can affect their attitudes and responses. Sometimes, we find ourselves having to manage both the patient and the parent. You help your child and our team by remaining in control when your child is feeling out of control. If you feel that you are ill-equipped to cope and offer positive support in the treatment room, perhaps you can designate another caregiver to accompany your child in the operatory.  Over time, as trust develops, you may find your own anxiety levels improve to the point where you can be an effective partner during treatment.

Undivided Attention
When we need to give instructions to a child to encourage them to participate responsibly while we care23-11-2015 4-48-30 PM for their teeth, we try to appeal to their age-appropriate sense of obligation, value and logic. However, when there are many distractions in our treatment room, speaking to an apprehensive child and trying to gain their focus and trust can be incredibly difficult. In the treatment room, it is very important that the primary focus and interaction remain between the dental team and the child so that communication and guidance can take place without distractions or interruptions and that confusion does not arise and complicate matters. It is with these consideration in mind that  most dentists will ask for your cooperation in remaining a silent partner in the treatment room unless otherwise asked for asked to your assistance and emotional support.

Coming in and out of the treatment room
During dental care can also be extremely disruptive to both the child and dental team. We offer a chair for you to sit on during the dental procedure. If you prefer to read to pass the time along, we have plenty of magazines in the greeting area or invite you to bring your own material.

One family member only in the treatment room
It goes without saying that more than one family member in the room can be a tremendous distraction for the patient and dental team and the room can become crowded and disruptive. Informal checkup visits may allow for a more playful “family experience” in the treatment room, but the care we deliver during more complex, invasive procedures demands more concentration and order. Designate the parent or caregiver that can best support your child and understand the dental after-care instructions given.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMLet us work our magic
We are trained to identify certain behaviours and modify our strategies and techniques accordingly. We are accustomed to anticipating sudden movements or outbursts. Hampering our efforts by distracting your child’s attention with words or gestures can escalate an otherwise manageable scenario. We will certainly call upon you for assistance should your intervention become necessary.

Appreciation
Nothing educates a parent more than having an opportunity to see our efforts and the efforts of their child firsthand. Watching our dental team perform helps most parents gain a new appreciation and understanding for the skills needed to navigate an encounter while still providing their child with a positive patient experience.

23-11-2015 4-37-17 PMNegative words
Although a parent’s intention may be honourable, phrases like, “It’s not going to hurt” can be incorrect or misleading. Your words alone can arouse fear and anxiety where none may have existed. Not all fearful children are uncooperative. Likewise, not all uncooperative children are fearful.

Unaccompanied children
Sometimes, children behave and concentrate better without their parent in the room. If you feel this applies to your child or would like to foster independence, you can always stand just outside the room within ear and eyeshot.

Building Relationships
Appreciate that we are trying to establish the type of trusting relationship with your child that will foster a long term healthy, positive and responsible attitude towards their well being that will hopefully remain with them throughout their lives. To do this we need your support. Your own positive words and attitudes are tremendously infectious.

Other concerns that come to mind

Mood – It has been our experience that young children are much more emotionally 23-11-2015 4-15-11 PMcooperative between the hours of 9am and 12pm when they are rested, alert and have not spent a long, tiring day at school, possibly worrying about their upcoming appointment. This is an especially important consideration when it is a nervous child’s first visit. Nothing is gained when we expect the best from someone when they are at their worst.

Preparation – Parents have the ability to shape their children’s behaviour and how they deal with their feelings. We understand that keeping a positive attitude when discussing your child’s upcoming visit, without giving them any false hope or misleading details, can be challenging. If you suspect that your child is extremely apprehensive about their dental appointment and time permits, perhaps you can “drop by” the office to pick up the medical history form you will need to complete for their first appointment. This way, they’ll be able to meet some of the staff and leave with a prize from the treasure box. The encounter will be short and sweet and create a sense of familiarity for their next visit. In the meantime, keep conversations brief and simple. We find that the less said, the better, so try not to include too many details. If you are unsure of something, just say so and tell them they can ask us at their appointment.

23-11-2015 3-51-07 PMDental Language – We all appreciate when complicated, unfamiliar or fearful matters are simplified and explained in terms we understand and can relate to. It helps us be in a better position to make informed decisions and move forward in the problem-solving process. We introduce positive, yet simple language when addressing your child to help breakdown planned treatment into simple terms they can understand and appreciate to help them get through unfamiliar or difficult situations. Our “dental language” may sound over-simplified, but we know it to be an effective way to reduce patient fear and improve behaviour. Our language will grow in sophistication and complexity as your child grows and matures. Our ultimate goal is to equip them the language and knowledge they will need as adults to continue to make wise and informed decisions with respect to their dental health.

Behaviour management techniques – We have seen many children over the years who would not cooperate in other offices. While we are not miracle workers, we do believe in your child and their ability to overcome their fears and anxieties. We are equipped with an array of techniques to identify and manage many different types of behaviours in children in order to complete treatment safely and successfully. Understand however, that if a dentist’s instructions to a child takes on a more serious tone, it is done so with the intent of appealing to a child’s sense of responsibility and to disarm a child’s uncontrollable emotional state. The goal is to not allow a situation to escalate to the point where a child feels less safe and more out of control.

23-11-2015 4-20-21 PMPositive Reinforcements – It is absolutely amazing to see how empowered and confident a child becomes after successfully accomplishing a difficult appointment. The praise that follows helps to strengthen their resolve to trust and behave more positively at their next visit. Your co-operation and trust is also essential in these matters. Together, we can help your child develop courage and create a better dental future for themselves. Children who put forth the effort and determination to succeed should, “Own the moment!”  When good behaviour is rewarded quickly and often, additional value is added and positive attitudes are reinforced and strengthened. A parent’s positive follow-up words, smiles, hugs, high-fives etc. are, most definitely the best reward a child can receive.

04-08-2014 11-54-04 PMPrevious traumatic experience – When we care for a child that has had a previous traumatic experience, they are already armed with some very concrete ideas about dental offices. Our job is to convince them otherwise and this could take several visits before treatment can be initiated. If a child is in immediate pain or injured, then the dentist is faced with having to accomplish treatment and try to change some of the child’s attitudes and trust issues during the first visit. As dentists, we do our best, but if restoring a child’s teeth will take several , complex treatment appointments, sometimes it is in the child’s best interest to see a children’s specialist where they can be sedated and have all the treatment completed in one visit.

23-11-2015 4-29-58 PMExpectations – There are times when a parent’s expectations for their child and the dental team is just too high or unrealistic. This is especially true in the case where a child has a tremendous amount of treatment necessary. The ultimate goal is to provide the level of care that repairs the dental destruction without further damaging the child psychologically. Together, we can come up with a plan to deliver the care needed while appreciating that children have different abilities and that circumstances differ from child to child and sometimes day to day.

Healthcare is a necessity – Teaching your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice, and that the dental team is here to help keep their teeth healthy and beautiful for years to come is one of the best ways to foster a positive attitude. It’s difficult, however,  to teach your children responsibility if you are not demonstrating it in your own life. You can hinder or help your child and their experiences based on you own actions and words, so please consider them carefully.

Lastly…

my-boy-732736-mNo single method or technique can be used for all children nor every visit. Trusting relationships and coping skills form over time and each interaction with your child is an opportunity for us to establish the rapport and approach that best suits your child.

The long term rewards of treating children successfully is seeing the healthy dental attitudes they develop as the grow into adulthood. Helping children triumph brings us our own tremendous feelings of fulfillment, achievement and pride in our chosen profession and demonstrates to us that our efforts are indeed worthwhile and fruitful.

One thing we have learned over our 30 years of experience is to … Never underestimate the capabilities of children!

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The YOUR SMILE Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

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Something About Mary, A Dental Story…

Building Relationships ~ One patient at a time!

26-10-2015 11-16-00 AMLike many of our patients who “grew up in our practice,” Mary never had a fear of going to the dentist. From a young age she has always been a happy smile that we get to see twice a year.

She brightens up our office every time she walks through our doors. One day recently, we asked her about this sunny disposition of hers when it comes to her appointments and her answer turned into this wonderful story that she then wrote down afterwards when she got home and sent it to us. We feel privileged to share it with you.


 

              I get excited when I get to come in and get my teeth cleaned. There’s nothing like that fresh, just polished feel after a check-up and cleaning.

            When it comes to my comfort level at my dental office, I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve been coming here all of my life and I feel a great connection with the whole team. When I come in, I get a chance to catch up and share what’s going on in my life with everyone and I know they truly care about me. Everyone’s been here, like forever and I have a connection here like no other healthcare place I attend.        

            One time when I was in about grade 10 we had a class discussion at school about fears. I couldn’t believe it when so many hands went up to choose, “the dentist!” I was like, “What?” I honestly couldn’t relate. I always looked forward to my trips to Dr. Axelrod, rides in the dental chair, learning about my teeth and how to care for them, choosing my toy prize in the treasure box, being part of the “No Cavity Club”, and going home with my new dental goody bag containing a new toothbrush and kid’s toothpaste and colouring book. I mean, what’s not to like about that?”

            My parents never made a big fuss about treatment or anything about the dentist for that matter, so visits just seemed commonplace and routine. So, when I had a cavity once, I never had any fear before my visit. It was treated like all of my other routine visits – fun, fun fun! Getting my tooth fixed was just another fun visit.

            Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been coming in for more frequent cleaning because I feel like every 9 months is just way too long between cleanings. I’m told that I have really healthy teeth and I know that because I’ve always taken care of them I will probably be able to keep them forever and not have to worry about my teeth when I’m older. Whenever any of my friends have any problems with their teeth I say, “Go see my dentist. You’ll love him!” That’s my story!



Wow!
  When we first asked her about her sunny side, we weren’t expecting all of this, but we weren’t surprised either. We have many adults who have been coming here since their “First Visit.” We are tremendously honoured when they choose us to care for their own children’s dental health and appreciate all of their kind referrals of family and friends.

af51dd89-a5da-4f6a-b6d1-521031ac6af6Do you have a great dental story for us?

We’d love to hear about it and others would love to also. Positive dental stories help people have hope that they can come into a dental office, regardless of their level of dental health, and know that they will be treated kindly and receive the same type of care that Mary has enjoyed all of her life.

The road to optimal dental health is a journey for some and we’re here to help set you on the right path. It just takes a few steps forward to a place where you’ll find a comforting welcome! 🙂
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Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team,
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

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The Uncooperative Child

It Happens…

05-08-2014 12-08-32 AMTo a child a dental office can be a pretty scary place. Sometimes a child’s fear is due to a previous dental experience, perhaps they overheard someone else recounting an unpleasant visit, or maybe they just have a fear of the unknown that intensifies when  they see any frontline healthcare worker.

With some children, no amount of persuasion can convince  them to cooperate during their dental care visits – not even a few sleepless nights of pain. Even a seasoned dentist, using all of their trusted strategies, may eventually meet their match. To protect their long-term mental health, the dentistry of today does not forcefully restrain a child in order to deliver care.

Usually the use of Nitrous Oxide “laughing gas” is all that is needed to provide safe and effective dental treatment to a child. In emergencies cases, however,  your dentist may recommend a specialist or prescribe a pre-treatment medicine to sedate your child. Some children need to be put under general anesthesia (G.A.) in order to accomplish treatment. There is always a risk when using G.A. so it is used with caution and as a last resort.

Establishing Trust

Sad 2Dealing with children effectively while creating a positive experience can be challenging. A skillful practitioner needs to be able to accurately evaluate a child’s developmental level, temperament and coping skills then use the appropriate balance of patience and firmness all within a child’s first visit. They must be careful not to trigger more fear since they know that most children will shut down further and become more unmanageable.

Forming a bond of trust with the child, no matter how little, is key to laying down the foundation for their future care and building self-confidence in a child. Sometimes it take many short, positive visits – each interaction an opportunity to tear down the walls of mistrust and fear – before a child becomes comfortable with a new dentist and their staff. Each step forward deserves recognition and should be rewarded with positive reinforcements.

United We Stand

Central to the process of cooperation is the dentist/parent alliance.  By showing a united front, the dentist and parents can stand together in the best interests to the child.

03-11-2014 2-40-24 PMWe always suggest to the parent that they defer their child’s questions about dental treatment to us. They may frame their responses like this: “I’m not sure. Let us ask the dentist when we visit next.” or “Perhaps we should ask the dentist that question.” Even the most well-intentioned parent can include too many details that may raise even more questions, give false hope or accidently mislead their child which may create more mistrust.

In return, you should expect that all members of a dental team be capable of proving a positive experience for your child in a pleasant and caring environment. If you feel that your child would benefit from a pre-visit to the dental office or their website, it may be an great opportunity for your child to become familiar with the office which may, in turn, help reduce some of their anxiety.

Parental Presence VS Absence

Some children do not need to have their parent accompany them into the dental operatory, while others cooperate better when they have a parent along for support. It is important, however, to let the dental staff perform their exam and speak to the child without interference. It is difficult for a child to listen AND follow instructions if there is distraction or more than one person is speaking to them. Most dentists who are experienced with children will speak clearly and choose their words carefully in an effort to make a positive first impression and establish trust.

Here are some simple tips to help your child establish a healthy attitude towards dental visits:

1. Start dental visits before a child’s first birthday to help establish trust and routine early in life. The goal is to hep your child establish a healthy relationship with their family dentist before any dental problems arise.
2. Conversations about dental visits should be simple, positive and age-appropriate.
3. Never pass on your own fears to your child.
4. Teach your child that regular dental visits are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
5. Choose your child’s dentist carefully and know ahead of time what your dental office’s expectations are for your child and how they handle fearful or uncooperative children.
6. Reconsider taking your child to your own dental appointment. What the hear and see as a spectator to your treatment may be a very different experience than the “kid-friendly and fun” visit the dentist intends for them.
7. Help your child become familiar with what goes on in a dental office by reading positive and informative children’s dental storybooks with them. Stay away from books that have storylines about more complicated treatments such a tooth extractions or pain.
8. We believe that children should have positive reinforcement available to them after well-behaved dental visits. A simple, single toy from our “treasure chest” and a new toothbrush is all that is necessary. Leave the money to the tooth fairy.
9. Establish good oral care routines at home and allow dental visits to be an extension of this home care in order to help strengthen the bonds of trust and form a lifelong partnership between your child and their dental team.

Healthy Teeth for Life

my-boy-732736-mLearning to take responsibility for their health and well-being is a part of every child’s growth and development and it takes more time for some children than others. How you and your dental team approach this milestone will help your child make a successful transition from fear and immaturity to trust and responsibility. Each visit forward is another opportunity to prepare your child for the day that they will eventually manage their own health care as adults.

Together we’re Better,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 5SMILES

 

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