Are your kids reluctant to go to a dentist? Maybe, you just haven’t found the right one. Check out these tips to help you find the best dentist for kids.
Many parents question when to take their child to the dentist and how to start the process. It’s recommended to see a dentist no later than a child’s first birthday.
This helps to establish good oral health habits for your child. Early dentist visits also lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
A child’s first trip to the dentist should be pleasant, informative, and proactive. The right dentist ensures the best possible experience for both the parent and child. Yet, finding a dentist involves more than their office location and if they accept your insurance plan.
Read on to learn the top tips to find the best dentist for kids.
Know What to Look for in a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist differs from an adult dentist in their experience and care. They undergo extra schooling to specialize in treating child patients.
Child dentistry is so important because it can prevent a range of health conditions. This includes oral diseases as well as diabetes and heart disease. To protect your child’s health, it’s key to start dental check-ups at an early age.
The best children’s dentist will be an expert in child development and oral health. They will have vast experience in caring for infants, toddlers, children, and teens.
Pediatric dentists should offer preventative measures for protecting young teeth and gums. They should also have knowledge of infant conditions that can affect oral health. This includes tongue tie and tooth decay caused by baby bottles.
Many child dentists also have extra training for caring for special needs patients. Do some research on the dentist’s website to learn more about their qualifications.
Ask for Recommendations
To find a good local pediatric dentist, ask a trusted and reputable source. This can be a friend, family member, or colleague. Your child’s pediatrician can also provide a few recommendations.
Other parents will be able to provide you with honest and unbiased feedback. This way you can find the best pediatric dentist to fit your child’s needs.
Be sure to ask what they liked about the dentist and if they had any concerns. Question how the child felt during and after their visit.
It also helps to read online reviews on Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. The American Dental Association website is another good online resource to use. You can always ask the dentist for patient testimonials as well.
Seek a Soothing Office Environment
A child-friendly environment is key for having a pleasant experience at the dentist. A top pediatric dentist will provide the safest and best environment. This should be geared towards younger children.
A relaxing environment appeals more to children and makes them feel more comfortable. Child dentist offices should also have special techniques for a more enjoyable experience. This helps make the child feel more at ease during their visit.
Some offices use therapy dogs to help calm anxious children down. Other offices blow up balloon animals or dress in fun costumes.
The dentist should use child-sized equipment and tools as well. Their staff should be friendly and go out of their way to make your child feel welcome.
The office waiting room should also offer a child-friendly environment. It helps to have toys, books, games, and kid’s movies playing. Pay attention to low long the office makes your child wait before their appointment.
Another tip is to ask to take a tour of the dental office so you can get a personal feel for it. You can also schedule a consultation before booking an appointment for your child. This way, you can meet with the dentist and staff to see how you mesh with their office culture.
Many websites provide online image galleries of their office and patient rooms. Browse these galleries to see how clean and well-cared for their dental office spaces are.
It also helps to prepare your child for their upcoming trip to the dentist. Be sure to inform them about the process and why oral care is important. There are many children’s books that you can read together about visiting the dentist as well.
Get a Feel for the Dentist
Your first visit should be informative and pleasant for both you and your child. Here you should be able to get a feel for their knowledge and personality type. This is how you know the dentist is the right fit for your family.
A good dentist for toddlers encourages your child to care about their dental health. They work to explain the process and help the child to better understand dentistry.
The dentist should alert you of any plaque areas that need more attention when brushing. Most also offer fun toothpaste flavors and do a good job of explaining the tools they use. Asking the child to pick the toothpaste flavor they prefer also makes them feel more in control.
The best dentist for kids is skilled in helping to ease anxiety and fear about visiting the dentist. Here you can find out more about how to help your child relax at the dentist.
Many dentists will reward their patients with a sticker or balloon afterward. Your child should also get a new toothbrush to practice better brushing habits at home.
Booking Your Appointment With the Best Dentist for Kids
These tips will help you to find the best dentist for kids in your area. Be sure to confirm the dentist you prefer takes new patients and accepts your insurance.
Both you and your child should feel comfortable, safe, and at ease during the entire appointment. It also helps to prepare your child for their first visit. Do this by explaining the full process and why oral health is so important.
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