Meet Our Kid-Friendly Decatur Dentist
Taking your children to the dentist is a lot more enjoyable for all if their visits are fun. And they will be at Charles F. Betts, Jr., D.M.D. Family Dentistry! As part of our commitment to educating your youngsters about oral hygiene, they can participate in fun Hands-On Learning Labs. They’ll learn more from labs than they will from a lecture because they get to do hands-on activities like:Dr. Charles Betts on a child's first visit Read Transcript
On their first dental visit to our office, kids can have a little fun. We have learning lab modules, where they can put on a white lab coat. They can experiment with different cleaning devices for their teeth. They can use a manual toothbrush, a power toothbrush. They can have their teeth painted, and see the plaque on it and where they need to brush and where they're missing. They can learn about the acid on teeth, and how they can control that with their diet and with their plaque removal. I think what's unique about a child's first experience with us is that they can come have a little bit of fun.
- Wear a cool lab coat
- Try out different cleaning devices for their teeth
- Compare electric and manual toothbrushes
- Use a product that lets them see the yucky plaque on their teeth
They’ll be more receptive to receiving treatments like fluoride applications if they learn firsthand how important they are. To visit a Decatur, AL family dentist who makes oral hygiene fun, call 256-274-8680.
Schedule Your Child’s First Visit As Soon As Age 2Sylvia Betts on the learning lab for children Read Transcript
I'm real excited about our learning lab. It's something we started about a year ago. Children can come in the office. Nothing's more intimidating than a strange place. I don't care how old you are, whether you're a child of 3 or 33. It's scary to come to the dental office for the first time.
We know that children learn by hands-on. The education is changing in schools. Children learn by hands-on, and I can't sit and tell them something. I need to show them, or better yet, I need to help them figure it out for themselves. If I can show them, for example, put a glove on and put some Crisco oil on that glove, and show them how when they brush their teeth that they're not getting that food between their teeth and let them floss with that, that hands-on learning makes much more sense to them than if I say, “You need to brush, and you need to floss.” That makes it real to those children.
It also eliminates a little bit of the fear factor because they put on that white coat. We have child-sized white coats for all different ages. They have so much fun with that. I heard a little girl the other day go, “I'm being Dr. Betts.” She was so proud and excited to do that. It makes them have some ownership in what they're doing. Then, you have their attention and you can give them the care that they need, and send them home.
Dental decay is the number one disease in children. We need to stop that, and if we can do that by making it more exciting when they come to the dentist, make them comfortable, and get them excited to go home and brush their teeth with the toothbrush that they chose at the doctor's office, it's a very rewarding thing for us.
Dr. Charles Betts recommends bringing your child for their first dental appointment between ages 2 and 4. At that age, they’ll be old enough to sit up in our dental chair and participate in their treatment with Dr. Betts and our friendly hygienists. It’s a good idea to bring children in when they are well-rested. For many kids, that’s early morning. Our office opens at 7 a.m. on Thursdays and at 8 a.m. on other weekdays. We even offer Friday hours.
In fact, you can bring them in even sooner to one of your own appointments. That will help get them accustomed to our office and let them meet our staff.
Your Child Can Receive Sedation, If Needed
Getting your child accustomed to the dentist means they’ll be less likely to be nervous during dental procedures. But if your child is anxious about any procedure, they can get inhaled sedation, which is safe for children as well as adults. It takes effect quickly, provides a mild euphoric feeling, and wears off quickly with no lingering grogginess.
To schedule your child’s first dental visit, call 256-274-8680.