Parents, this one is for you. When searching for anything for your kids, we know you want the best. Whether it’s a piano teacher, soccer coach, or medical professional, you want to know that those professionals are specifically trained to handle the unique needs—and sometimes, the comfort or fears—of a child. Finding a dentist for kids can be especially challenging. As adults (and dental professionals), we know the fear and apprehension that can come along with a trip to the dentist. So just imagine that from your child’s perspective! What you see as an outburst or as bad behavior could be the manifestation of fear. As a parent, you want a dentist that has experience handling children and all their mannerisms, and who can get on the level of a child with regard to explaining what is happening.
To ensure you set your child up for the best success in oral health, we’ve complied a one-stop, quick guide on how to choose a children’s dentist that can both take good care of your child’s teeth and create a low-stress experience for everyone.
Word of mouth (pun intended) is sometimes the best way to find a children’s dentist. Ask your friends with kids or folks at daycare, or even your adult dentist. Don’t let yourself think that asking your dentist for advice on other practitioners is wrong. As professionals, we are happy to give our opinion on the best specialists in the area.
Prior to making an appointment with a new children’s dentist, feel free to ask questions to the receptionist or even ask if they have any open house hours. Having the opportunity to take you child to the office can be invaluable to see if you could ease those day-of jitters.
Are pediatric dentists best?
All dentists are capable of cleaning a child’s teeth as well as advising their parents on oral care. And because this is true, we are frequently asked if it is necessary to seek out a pediatric dentist. One of the benefits of a pediatric dentist (which, for our purposes, includes family dentists with stated experience with kids) is that they are working on children’s teeth on a regular basis and are forced to keep up on all pediatric dental literature and advances. In addition, pediatric dentist offices are equipped to handle kids, and offer distractions to keep kids busy pre-appointment. In many offices, this includes TVs, gaming systems and toys.
No number of amenities can make going to the dentist easier for some kids, so once you find the right family dentist, it’s important to keep coming back. Remember that even pediatric dentists can follow your child throughout adolescence. They can guide you through decisions like fluoride treatments, sealants, and timing for a visit to the orthodontist—and a familiar environment will make every visit a little easier as the years go by.
We know that parenting is sometimes a mixture of “gut instinct,” winging it, and Google. Bringing in professionals that are experts in child development (in this case in the mouth) make for great allies in parenting. In addition to providing professional dental services, pediatric dentists can provide you, as the parent, educational resources on proper oral hygiene and dental care at home. This can include the benefits of fluoride in toothpaste, or answer questions on when to introduce mouthwash. The right dentist will also be available for emergencies like knocked-out or missing teeth.
Finding a great pediatric dentist will put your child on the right path for great oral hygiene. Early preventive measures are important to not only protect and strengthen baby teeth, but to ensure that adult teeth below the service are healthy. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist or unsure of your options, give our office a call today. Our goal is for your whole family to have a healthy smile!
Also published on Medium.