It's a Kid Thing


Published: 11/19/2009

by Beth Newcomb

Children are not little adults,” says Dr. Laura Adelman. “Until they’re able to write in cursive and tie their own shoes, parents need to be directly involved in their oral hygiene.”

And the kind of oral care they receive, outside of parental monitoring, should be tailored to their specific dental needs, says the pediatric practitioner with more than 16 years experience.

“Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of specialized training, focusing on the primary development of children’s teeth,” Dr. Laura explains. “We also spend time on behavioral management and child psychology—important skills that can make the difference when it’s time for a visit to the dentist.”

A visit, she adds, that should take place by age one so that parents can learn about how to help their children care for their teeth.

“We cover things like hands-on brushing, which types of food and drink are beneficial, and which types should be avoided,” she explains.

Surprisingly, bottled water is a no-no and sugarless gum is encouraged.

“There is no fluoride in bottled water,” Dr. Laura remarks. “Vitamin waters are a bad choice, too, because of the sugar. Sugarless gum is actually a good thing. It helps to prevent cavities by stimulating saliva flow. If you can’t brush after every meal, keep a package of sugar-free gum around.”

Getting the basics for better oral hygiene down earlier, rather than later, is important. But, Dr. Laura says, if you miss the one-year-old mark it’s okay.

“It’s never too late to get started,” she emphasizes. “Taking the first step is huge.”

Dr. Laura and her team have created an environment that caters to kids of all ages. The décor is intentionally youthful without making older children feel like they’re visiting the “baby” dentist.

Once you’ve chosen the path to better oral hygiene for your little gal or guy, Dr. Laura recommends a biannual check-up. “Children are more susceptible to decay,” she explains. “Issues with baby teeth can progress rapidly.”
Dr. Laura and her staff have gone to great lengths to ensure that little patients (and their parents) have plenty of reasons to love visiting.

Every month, the office holds a contest for kids. Guess how much the pumpkin weighs. Can you count the stripes on the flag? Send in a postcard from summer vacation. Then, one winner is chosen to receive a gift card to the movies or a local toy store. The staff also makes a donation to one of three local charities in the winner’s name.

“For Mother’s Day, we gave one lucky mom a getaway package that included a hotel stay and dinner,” she recalls.
“We’re very fortunate to have been so well received over the past four years in this community and we’re thrilled to be able to give back in as many ways and as often as we can.”

Dr. Laura has even taken the traditional post dental visit treat up a notch. Instead of a lackluster dig in the treasure box, her kids are given a shiny gold coin to insert in the “Treasure Tower,” where hundreds of different rewards await.

Everywhere you look, child-focused creature comforts abound. Every patient chair comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, and, should the need arise, laughing gas is available to calm the jitters.

“I treat every patient as if he or she were my own child,” Dr. Laura emphasizes. She’s also an expert at treating children with special needs and will accommodate more serious cases by calling in an anesthesiologist to help right in the office.

“It’s all about the safety, security, and comfort of the kids,” she adds. “We’ve created a place in which children can feel as comfortable as if they were at home.”

In fact, one recent patient enjoyed her filling so much, she turned to her mom once treatment ended and asked if Dr. Laura and her staff did birthday parties.

She laughs after telling the story and insists that while she does restrict her performances to an in-office audience, she’s happy to try and make every child’s visit a positive experience. Dr. Laura shares, “Our goal is to start children down the path of excellent oral hygiene and do all we can so kids don’t grow up fearing a visit to the dentist.”

To schedule a visit with Dr. Laura Adelman for your child, call 330-425-1885. The office is located at 9945 Vail Dr., Suite 5, in Twinsburg. Hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and some Saturdays. Learn more when you visit