All kids should visit a dentist as soon as they are ready to do so. It’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure their children have great oral hygiene at a young age.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends finding your kids a dental home. This dental home is the primary practice that will handle your kid’s dental care.
When looking for your kid’s dentist, there are a few ways on how you can find the right one. It’s best for you to find the most qualified dentist for your children. You want the best doctor to give them the proper teeth care they deserve.
Here are a few considerations you can take into account.
1. Is the Dentist a Pediatric Dentist?
The first thing to look for in a pediatric dentist is if they had special training. Keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics require multiple licenses, education, and certification.
Make sure your dentist has the right qualifications. They need to have the extra two years of pediatric specialization. This comes on top of the four years they spend in college and another four years in general dentistry.
Why would they need this extra training?
Dealing with children needs a far different bedside manner than dealing with adults or teens. You want to make the child feel comfortable and safe in your practice. As a kid’s dentist, you want to create a very pleasant experience that will motivate them to come back.
Pediatric dentists will also receive training for children with special needs.
2. 3 Ways to Find Pediatric Dentists
There are a few ways that you can try to find the best pediatric dentists in your area. The three most common ways are:
- Recommendation from other parents
- Online testimonials and reviews
- Give clinics a call for pointed questions
Seeking the advice of parents that you trust can be useful for you. Many parents will ask questions about the comfort their children will get. Many of today’s protective parents will stop at nothing to make sure their kids get proper teeth care.
The best parental recommendations you can get come from the ones who interact with actual dentists. Many of these parents will ask for added services and dental care procedures.
As for online reviews, look for the ones with the best review scores. Don’t stay at the five-star reviews. Check the critical reviews too and look at which complaints are consistent.
You can even call them one by one and ask questions relevant to the needs of your kids. There are no questions to many when it comes to the welfare of your children.
3. Ask Crucial Questions About Teeth Care
As we noted, you can try to call clinics yourself and get the answers straight from them. Even then, what do you ask?
There are a few questions that you can ask that are probing but inoffensive. These include:
- Does the dentist specialize in children?
- Are they a member of the ADA and AAPD?
- Does the dental office provide toys and kids’ entertainment?
- Is the equipment set up for children?
- Does the practice accept insurance/dental plans?
- What services do you offer?
These are some of the small questions that you can ask. If there are specific concerns about teeth hygiene for your kids, it’s best to ask them too.
4. Location, Location, Location
For busy parents, it’s best to consider the location of the clinic itself. You want it to be in an easy to access area, especially if you commute instead of drive around. If possible, it should be near the school of your kid(s) or, even better, near your home.
If it’s accessible enough, do a pre-visit. Take a look around.
Is the general area safe for you and your kid? Does the clinic look professional from the outside? Make sure to assess the location before walking in.
5. Visiting the Clinic
One you call around and you have some prospects, a good way to find the right practice is to visit. Take a look at their clinic and the atmosphere. See what the reaction is in the faces of the patients waiting for the dentist.
See if the waiting area has any material that conducive for kids. These can be anything from books to toys to different puzzles. If they provide any way to entertain the children and help with their anxiety, that’s a good sign.
If your kid has an appointment, take a look at the equipment that the dentist has. Do they have the best, latest equipment? Do these equipment cater straight to kids with its better comfort and smaller frame?
Their office staff should be easy to approach too. You want them to be kind and gentle to your kid, especially the receptionist and the hygienist.
6. Assess What You Know From the Visit
Once you visit the office, you would want to do some introspection about what experience you had. Ask yourself a few crucial questions.
- Was my child attended to as soon as possible?
- Did the dentist ask me about my child’s medical and dental history?
- Was the dentist gentle with my child?
- Was the staff courteous to my child?
- Did they try to be positive or encouraging to them?
- Did they tell me how my child’s proper teeth care is going?
- Were my concerns considered or respected?
- Did my child enjoy the visit? Was it at least pleasant to him/her?
Many of these questions are ones that you can answer yourself. Take all these into consideration and decide if you want to move on or stay with this practice.
Finding the Right Kid’s Dentist
If you’re considering your kid’s dentist, make sure to look for someone experienced and qualified.
Check for recommendations, whether it’s from other parents, online or from your own calls. Once you’re at the premises, give the clinic an honest assessment and see if this works for you.
Still looking for more parenting tips? We all want to be the best parents for our kids.
If you want superior advice, take a look at our other guides. We have many different tips and tricks that can help deal with your kids better and easier.