Meet Luca, Gracie & Juno

Going to the dentist is important. Unfortunately, it is not always fun. In fact, for many people, a trip to the dentist can be a terrifying experience. This is especially true for children. Children may not be able to control their emotions or may not realize what the dentist is trying to do. In order to help children in the dentist’s chair, there are dental therapy dogs.

What is a Dental Therapy Dog?

You may not have heard of dental therapy dogs, but you have undoubtedly realized that service dogs are increasingly common. People all over the world have realized the emotional benefits of a trained dog to serve as their companion. Even schools have gotten on board, putting service dogs on staff to help calm children down throughout the day. In this context, it is no surprise that dental therapy dogs can do a lot of good for your kids.

Dental therapy dogs work at dental practices. By law, service dogs have access to specific places within the practice where they are assigned. In order to become a service dog, the animal must pass several tests. These tests confirm that the dog can block out distractions and work safely around all types of people. This includes children and people with disabilities. When a dental therapy dog is at a practice, it does not have to work with every patient. Some patients may not prefer having a dog around, and that is perfectly okay. However, for patients who need a little extra love, a dental therapy dog can be brought in for assistance.

The Benefits of Dental Therapy Dogs

A dental therapy dog can provide a calming influence. Being at the dentist is stressful for children, and it has been shown that petting a dog can enhance mood. This helps children stay calm during an exam or procedure. For particularly difficult procedures that may be long or painful, this calming effect is even more important.

Moreover, a dental therapy dog can also help your child focus. Part of what scares children at the dentist is that they do not understand what is happening. It looks strange to see people in masks and gloves moving equipment around. With a dental therapy dog, the child has the chance to focus his or her attention elsewhere. While interacting with the dog, the child is not thinking about what the dentist is doing.

Luca, Gracie & Juno

At Kids Dental Specialty, we are particularly fond and proud of our dental therapy dogs, Gracie and Juno. Juno has been at our practice since 2011. At 9 pounds, Juno is a black and white Shitzu with hypoallergenic fur. Gracie only recently joined our practice, but she is already part of the family. As our therapy puppy in training, Gracie is a hypoallergenic Maltipoo. Sometimes, we even have visits from Gracie’s brother, Luca.

If your kids are scared of the dentist, a dental therapy dog can help. At Kids Dental Specialty, Juno and Gracie are ready to welcome your child. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.