The nature of the first visit depends on the age of the child at the time of visit. Whatever the age, it is not only a time for a dental examination but also for dental health education. Dr. Maria Georgaklis (“Dr. Maria”) takes the opportunity at this visit to listen to and respond to the concerns of children and their parents regarding treatments and procedures. She believes that engagement is the key to effective collaboration and optimal dental health. Her goal is have all her patients maintain a healthy smile for life.
During the first year of life we:
- Evaluate oral health and instruct parents on proper dental care with instructions on oral hygiene, diet and nutrition.
- Inform parents of potential risks that could alter the growth and development of the mouth (oral cavity).
- Guide parents in establishing a dental friendly home to ensure children will maintain optimal oral health for life.
For children we:
- Assess for habits that impact teeth negatively such as thumb sucking, drinking juice at bedtime, excess sugar consumption and mouth breathing.
- Assess orthodontic needs
For our teen patients we:
- Examine the mouth and clean teeth and gums
- Assess for dietary habits that negatively affect dental health, such as soda, sports drinks and candy.
- Inspect for signs of teeth grinding which can be a manifestation of stress.
- Evaluate for malocclusion which if treated early can avoid dental complications in the future
- Assess orthodontic needs
- Advise for dental protection to prevent sports-related injuries.
ADDRESSING PATIENT COMFORT
Dr. Maria shares her caring and sensitive approach to dental care with her patients. She has a calm, warm demeanor and is soft spoken which places patients at ease. She explains each procedure carefully, with a gentle, supportive approach. Dr. Maria demonstrates each technique on herself, and assistant, or a simulated mouth until the patient understands what will be happening during their visit. Dental education plays a critical role during the visit and in subsequent visits. Dr. Maria believes that patient anxiety is decreased when patients understand and participate in the process. Together with the child and parent, she crafts a customized dental plan to reinforce what is learned at the visit. By coming up with a plan that makes sense for each family, it is much more likely that the dental plan will be followed over the long term. At the end of the visit, each patient is offered a gift bag with items supporting dental health. Dr. Maria and her staff strive to have each patient leave the office with a positive experience and with the foundation of good oral health that they will want to maintain.