Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2016

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24 Hudson Valley Parent n February 2016 closely. Waldman says since the first visit is typically just a consultation, there is no need to schedule a visit beforehand. Pediatric Dentist Dayna Olstein of Orange County Pediatric Dentistry in Monroe agrees, "It is not necessary to meet with your child's potential dentist in advance, how- ever parents should do what makes them most comfortable." Both practitioners advise visiting the dentist's website, where there are often tours of the office posted. These visual tours can give parents a sense of how child friendly the office truly is. Darmanin says the kid-friendly pirate decor, along with toys and tablets for children to play with, was part of the reason she chose to take her children to Seven Seas Pediatric Dentistry in Wappingers Falls. Interview staff on the phone Contacting the practice via phone or email to ask questions is also By DAWN GREEN F or many of us, our semi-annual visit to the dentist sparks dread. In spite of knowing better, visions of the demented dentist from Little Shop of Horrors may flit before our eyes. Saugerties mom of three Gloria Darmanin experienced this fear, and wanted it to be different for her children. She says "I hate go- ing to the dentist. I hate the sounds. I hate the feelings. I didn't want my children to feel that way." After researching dentists with whom she felt comfortable, Darm- anin found a dentist that, not only does she love, but her children do, too. She says, "I now have two sons who go every six months for a checkup and cleaning. They are excited to go. Find an of f ice your kids are excited to visit. One of the simplest things a par- ent can do when researching dentists is to ask around. Pediatric Dentist Geri-Lynn Waldman who prac- ticed in Middletown says, "Word of mouth is always a good way to find a dentist for your child. Parents can ask other parents in the area who they've used and if they had positive experiences with them." One place parents can do this is on local Facebook parenting groups. Darmanin says while she was looking for a dentist, she would see comments in these groups regarding dentists who rushed to procedures and knew to avoid those. Once you have narrowed it down to a few, it's time to look more important, according to Waldman. She encourages parents to ask what kind of experience and training the dentist has had working with chil- dren, and suggests asking about the use of sedation if the child is anx- ious, and the dentist's availability for after-hours emergencies. Waldman says, "After dental school, those specializing in pediatric dentistry take an additional two years of a residency training pro- gram dealing exclusively with chil- dren after dental school to specialize solely on the needs of children." Ol- stein says, "During these two years, pediatric dentists gain knowledge on how to treat infants, children and adolescents. Pediatric dentists enjoy working with children and bring an expertise in childhood behavior and management to their practice." Need a dentist for your child with special needs? Beyond these questions, parents of children with special needs may have other concerns. Waldman sug- gests asking whether the dentist has training and experience with chil- dren with special needs. She adds "it's also important to ask if the office offers sedation dentistry since many special needs patients may benefit from sedation dentistry if they are very fearful or unable to sit in the chair comfortably for treatment." Olstein agrees that parents should discuss their children's preferences and needs prior to the first appoint- ment. She says "if a child has sensory or developmental delays it is import- ant to discuss your child's specific needs with the dentist." The most valuable clue as to whether the dentist is a good fit for your child is the first visit. Darmanin says it was watching the interaction between her son and the doctor. "Doctor Evan took his time talking, playing, even going as far as having a water fight with the tool that rinses your mouth." Dawn Green is a freelance writer living in Saugerties with two her creative and adorable sons. Dentist o ice décor… and other ways to choose your child's dentist "It is not absolutely necessary to meet with your child's potential dentist in advance." DAYNA OLSTEIN Pediatric Dentist of Orange County Pediatric Dentistry in Monroe

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