Why We’re Delaying Our “Fun Visits” for Kids

July 21, 2020 in Dentistry by mccarl_dental
Little girl practicing tooth brushing in the dental office

The McCarl Dental Group team is happy to be welcoming the majority of our dentistry patients back to the office for regular, preventive dentistry visits, but we’re still encouraging those patients who are considered higher risk to postpone non-essential dental office trips for the time being. This includes delaying “fun visits” for kids. In this blog, we’ll talk about why it’s important to postpone these appointments for young patients and how you can care for your child’s smile until fun visits are available again.

What is the Fun Visit?

Did you know that about 75% of people in the U.S. report they experience some amount of dental phobia or anxiety? It’s true! When asked why visiting the dentist causes fear or anxiety, many people point to bad experiences at the dental office when they were kids. For this reason, the McCarl Dental Group is dedicated to creating positive childhood dentistry experiences for kids who visit our team. Our fun visit is your child’s introduction to the dentist. We want to do everything possible to offer a stress-free and enjoyable dental office appointment. This involves friendly greetings from all of our team members, a tour of the dental office, a gentle smile exam conducted while your little one sits on your lap in the dental chair, and a visit from our oral hygiene mascot, Choppers. Simply put, kids who visit the McCarl Dental Group will grow up with healthy smiles and look forward to visiting the dentist.

Why are Fun Visits Postponed During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now providing recommendations to help dental patients stay safe during regular dentistry appointments. However, for high risk patients, including young children, the CDC and other health and safety organizations are still recommending that non-essential dental care be delayed. In addition to following guidelines from the CDC, some reasons the McCarl Dental Group is choosing to postpone fun visits at this time include:

  • The main goal of fun visits is to create an enjoyable and stress-free introduction to the dental office, and the heightened stress of visiting right now (loud noises, wearing masks, shields in the waiting room, etc.) is enough to overwhelm adults who are used to visiting us twice a year. It’s just not the best introduction to dental care for kids.
  • Our usually friendly, smiling faces that put your child at ease are going to be completely covered up, which can be very unsettling or frightening for young children. We’d much rather meet them when we can make a better first impression.
  • Having mom or dad in the treatment room is another way that we help to relax young patients when they visit us, but we’re not supposed to allow parents to accompany children during their appointment at this time.
  • Our most beloved fun visit assistant, Choppers, is currently packed away to keep him safe and sanitary until after the COVID-19 pandemic regulations are relaxed. Choppers is our alligator puppet used to teach tooth brushing and other important oral hygiene skills. No fun visit would be complete without a visit from Choppers, so really, it’s worth the wait!

What Can I do to Protect My Child’s Smile in the Meantime?

Until it’s safe to bring your child to our dental office, make sure you’re brushing and flossing their teeth and don’t let them fall asleep with bottles or sippy cups unless they’re filled with water. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Millersville dentist for help over the phone or via video chat.

Meet the McCarl Dental Group

The McCarl Dental Group team has served families in Millersville for decades, and we enjoy helping young patients learn to love visiting the dentist. We really look forward to being able to offer safe pediatric dental patient visits in the near future, but for now, don’t forget we’re here if you have questions or need help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Millersville dental office to find out more or schedule an appointment for the older kids and adults in your family.