When it comes to taking your child to the pediatric dentist, they’re better off going sooner than later.
In fact, most experts recommend visiting the dentist when your child turns one. If not, they recommend seeing a dentist no later than six months after their first baby teeth start appearing. Whichever of these comes sooner is when you should make your appointment. Tooth decay in children is a serious matter that you shouldn’t take lightly.
These early visits can help prevent dental disease, which is the most common chronic disease in children.
Unfortunately, many parents believe that dental visits should begin when a child is around four years of age or older. Thankfully, since you’ve landed on this article, you’re preparing to do what’s right by your kid’s teeth!
Now that you understand how essential pediatric dentistry is, how can you find a child’s dentist that suits your family? What should you look for in a dentist?
Please keep reading for our top considerations.
First, See If Your Current Dentist Does Family Dentristry
Often, the search for the greatest pediatric dentist stops right when you realize your current dentist has expertise in children’s dentistry, too.
That’s one of the best outcomes you can possibly get—as you likely already know and appreciate your current dentist and their practice. You’ll be able to bring your child in for a consultation at a place you feel comfortable and familiar with, which will translate to good feelings for your child.
When your current dentist does pediatric dentistry, it offers a world of convenience to you. You can schedule back-to-back appointments, making your visits that much more accessible. You can also stop the hunt before it even begins!
See How Child-Friendly a Pediatric Dentist Is Before Scheduling an Appointment
When you walk into a dentist’s office, you can immediately tell if their space is kid-friendly or not.
Do they have toys to play with within the lobby? Is their waiting room adorned with child-friendly wallpaper that instills fun and lightheartedness? Do they offer fun toothpaste flavors that making brushing your child’s teeth more exciting than you’d expect?
These small elements go a long way. While your one-year-old may not notice these things (after all, they’re a baby!), your four- or five-year-old will. Anything that can make them more comfortable and less afraid of the experience is a huge factor in finding the right pediatric dentist.
Check out a prospective dentist’s website for more insight into this factor, too. For example, the dentists at kidsstopdentistry.com are clearly child-focused with a slew of blog posts about kids—making brushing easy, preparing kids for their first appointment, dental tips for kids, and much more. A website can reveal a lot about dental practices.
Know What Services They Provide
Hopefully, your child will be able to see the same dentist for a very long time. Doing so helps instill trust in the whole process, reducing any ‘dentist fear’ that may come up.
But, to be sure your child can see the same dentist for years down the line, it’s important to know what services the dentist offers. You’ll want one that provides a full range of services, meaning you’ll never need to go elsewhere (unless, of course, circumstances require—such as orthodontics).
Some examples of services to look out for include:
- Oral health exams for infants
- Preventative cleanings
- Cavity or tooth defect repairs
- Pre-assessment for orthodontia (determining whether your child may need braces or orthodontal work)
- Consultations on topics like diet, nutrition, poor dental habits (such as thumb-sucking), etc.
- Dental injury care, such as tending to fractured or knocked-out teeth
- Ability to diagnose various oral conditions
You’ll likely be able to find one pediatric dentist who can cover all these matters.
However, it’s never a bad decision to ask in advance. It’s helpful to understand exactly what your dentist offers—or doesn’t—before the situation deems itself necessary.
Check Reviews Online to See Others’ Experiences
Finally, what’s one more fantastic way to learn about any business—especially one tasked with something as important as caring for your teeth?
Read the online reviews
Don’t wait until after a negative experience to start Googling your kid’s dentist and seeing what others have to say. Instead, check the internet sooner than later. While not every review is guaranteed to be unbiased (in fact, it’s usually the opposite), both positive and negative reviews can say a lot about a business.
If your prospective dentist has tons of positive reviews gloating about their expertise, behavior, and location, you’ll know you’re in good company. On the flip side, if you see a handful of 1-, 2-, or even 3-star reviews reporting lackluster service or even something more severe, you’ll know to steer clear and keep looking.
On that same note, if you have an experience with your dentist worth recording—good or bad—then do so! You might just be helping another parent find the best dentist for their children, too.
Smile! You’ve Found the Right Children’s Dentist
These tips should help you find a pediatric dentist that’s right for you and your child.
You may already know your child’s dentist—if your current one does pediatric dentistry! If not, look for a dental office that provides a kid-friendly environment, offers a range of services for consistency’s sake, and has good reviews on major platforms like Google. When in doubt, always ask questions, seek advice from friends or family, and don’t be afraid of getting second opinions.
[Read 8 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Clean]
Now that you’ve learned about pediatric dentistry, keep scrolling our page for more insight into having a thriving family life.
Stay Happy and Healthy!