Taking your child to regularly see a pediatric dentist is vital for their long-term tooth and oral health. Around 20% of children between the ages of five to 11 have at least one decaying tooth that’s untreated. Dental care is extremely important in treating dental problems and teaching children good oral hygiene practices.
Finding the best pediatric dentist that both you and your child feel comfortable with is also important. You don’t want your child to have any unpleasant dental experiences that cause long-term issues.
A pediatric dentist needs to be highly trained in dealing with kids of all ages. This guide will go over what you should consider when selected the best dentist for kids.
Understand the Difference Between a General and a Pediatric Dentist
One of the first things you should learn about is the difference between a general/family dentist and a pediatric one. A pediatric dentist has an additional two years of training beyond that of a general dentist. This helps them learn about pediatric dentistry and the special skills needed.
A child’s dentist also has smaller tools and equipment that are better suited for working in a child’s mouth. A qualified pediatric dentist should also have experience working with patients from infancy all the way through adolescence.
Additionally, a pediatric dentist has training and experience that gives them the skills needed to work with children of all personality types and temperaments. Their office should be kid-friendly, appealing to a child’s interests to make them feel comfortable.
The goal of a pediatric dentist, other than provided thorough dental care, is to make dental work a positive experience for your child. They want them to carry these memories with them through adulthood. A pediatric dentist has tailored skills for working with children that a general dentist may not be equipped with.
Make a Consultation Appointment
When contacting different pediatric dental offices, ask if you can book an initial consultation appointment prior to the first official one. This gives you the opportunity to bring your child into their office in a no-pressure situation. Your child can look around their office and meet the dentist and their staff.
During this consultation, you and your child can see if the office is kid-friendly. You can only learn so much about the atmosphere of a dental office from their website. Visting in person will allow you to see if the office has a positive vibe that’s inviting to your child.
This also gives you a chance to ask the dentist different questions about the areas of concern you have. You’ll also be able to inquire about what to expect from upcoming treatments.
Another thing you can do during this consultation is to evaluate the demeanor of all the staff members. Do they use words that your child can easily understand? Do they explain everything not only to you but to your child as well?
Your child may be nervous to be visiting the dentist. It’s important that every staff member involved with your child’s treatments explain everything to them in a manner that they understand. This will not only put you at ease but calm any nerves your child might be experiencing.
How a pediatric dental office is set up has a major impact on how your child feels. All of these items go a long way in ensuring your child is comfortable.
Ensure They Prioritize Preventative Treatment
You can start scheduling your child’s first dental appointment by the age of one. Your dentist can start to identify potential issues before they turn into a more serious problem.
A qualified pediatric dentist knows that preventative treatment is a major component of long-term oral health. The dentist you select should prioritize preventative treatment plans, like sealants and fluoride, to help prevent cavities from forming.
When you meet with the dentist during your consultation, ask about their preventative treatment programs. You want to ensure they do everything to prevent dental problems instead of simply fixing them when they occur.
Ask Friends and Family Members for Recommendations
A great way to narrow down your choices for a pediatric dentist is to ask friends and family members for recommendations. While every child is different, the people you ask will have general information on how the office is. You’ll also get to hear first-hand how the dentist and their staff members interact with children.
If you don’t have people to ask for recommendations, you can search online for customer reviews. Sometimes reviews can be anonymous, so you can get unfiltered reviews with more information. Check third-party websites that post reviews.
Choose a Nearby Location
The distance from your house to the dentist’s office shouldn’t be too far. You don’t want to spend hours in the car with your child when going to dental appointments. Longer car rides, especially with a nervous child, can sometimes result in temper tantrums.
If you pass by it often, you can point it out to your child as you drive by so they can feel familiar with it before they first go in. Being close to the dentist also ensures you can quickly get in if you have a dental emergency.
Check Their Qualifications
Like we mentioned before, pediatric dentists need additional training to work with children. They need to have a license that allows them to practice pediatric dentistry in the state of Texas. Most dentists have their professional licenses and certifications on display for you to review.
Make an Appointment With Children’s Dental and Orthodontics
If you’re in the Preston or Campbell area and have recently searched for a “pediatric dentist near me,” look no further than Children’s Dental and Orthodontics. Our dentist Dr. Bushey and our orthodontist Dr. Sodhi are highly trained in working with children of all our ages. Your child will feel safe in our comfortable and caring environment.
Contact us today to book an appointment.