Tips On How To Find The Best Dentist For Your Child
Starting your child with regular dental visits from an early age will set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Regular dental care will help detect problems early and treat problems early. More importantly, it will get your child into the routine of that every six month appointment that will carry through his entire life. Here’s how to find the best dentist for your child.
Benefits Of Early Dental Care
You may be surprised that the American Dental Association (ADA) advises parents to make baby’s dental visit as soon as they get their first tooth. Indeed, your baby should have their first dental exam no later than their first birthday.
But that’s not just a loosely written guideline. In fact, children who start seeing the dentist early experience benefits:
- The dentist (and every dreaded dental procedure) becomes routine, so they are less fearful patients.
- Early detection of tooth decay resulting from drinking juice or from a bottle.
- Early instruction of proper tooth brushing techniques.
- Involves the older child in their own dental care plan.
That sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect dentist for your child.
Use Online Tools
You can start your search online to find pediatric dentists in your area. Browse over to a “dentist finder” page, type in your information, select “pediatric,” and you’ll see results. You can sort by distance from a certain zip code. So whether you want to find a dentist in your neighborhood or
near your pre-school, you will get a list of dentists.
Ask Friends For Referrals
Check in with your friends and family. Ask them for a referral. This will help you get accurate and trusted opinions. You will hear glowing references or perhaps a scathing tirade about how long they keep you in the waiting room.
Process the feedback and form your opinion on each dentist in your area.
Confirm If The Dentist Has Pediatric Training
Just as a pediatrician is a doctor who has specialized training in the care of children, a pediatric dentist has similar training.
A pediatric dentist has completed dental school and then went on for an additional two to three years of specialty training. They will have a better understanding of how a child’s mouth changes as they grow, be well-versed in the causes of tooth decay in children, and understand child psychology.
While regular dentists are certainly qualified to practice dentistry on children, these specialists raise the bar when it comes to providing dental care to children. Ask the dental office if the dentist has this training.
Visit The Office In Person
Even if you’ve done all of the above, you may still have some apprehension about scheduling an appointment for your child. Take one last step. Visit the pediatric dentist’s office in person to schedule the visit.
When you enter the clinic, take notice of the surroundings.
- Is it a calm place that will soothe your child’s nerves before their appointment?
- Is the waiting room cheerful and clean?
- Is the staff polite when you enter and show concern when you express why you’re there?
If the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” then book that appointment!
Regular dental care is an important part of your child’s life. Children who visit the dentist early will have a greater likelihood of having healthy teeth as adults. They will become confident in their oral hygiene, prevent decay from causing other illnesses, and learn not to fear the dentist. In fact, your child just might like the dentist and take pride in showing off those pearly white teeth.
Daniel Hatcher works as a resident writer for Dr. Holly Gregory, DDS, MS who owns and manages Houston Dental Implants Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Periodontics. He loves writing about new discoveries and innovations in the healthcare industry.