Around 36% of parents think children should visit the dentist once a year when professionals recommend a bi-annual check-up.
We must take our little ones to the dentist to prevent tooth decay, discoloration, and ensure they maintain good oral hygiene.
If you’re not sure where to find a reputable pediatric dentistry practice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven tips to help you.
1. Know the Difference Between a Pediatric and Family Dentist
Before searching for the best dentist for kids, we must understand why pediatric dentists are different.
Pediatric dentists are specialized in children’s dentistry because they complete an extra three years of schooling. Their training focuses on children’s dental needs including preventative care and their teeth development.
Pediatric dentists treat babies at the start of their tooth formation to teenagers. Once the patient turns 18, then the pediatric dentist will refer them to a general dentist practice.
You should find out whether your desired pediatric dentist is a member of the AAPD and the American Dental Association (ADA). This shows they stay updated with dental news and advancement so they can provide the best treatment for your child.
Children must visit a pediatric dentist every six months for a check-up.In addition, children with ADHD require more dental attention.
2. Ask Parents for Recommendations
If you want to find the best pediatric dentist, ask other parents for recommendations.
This will help you find out how comfortable the practice is and more about the pediatric dentist which is impossible to glean from a website or via a phone call.
Plus, they’ll give you honest feedback about any dental procedures their child has had and whether the pediatric dentist is a good fit.
3. Read Online Reviews
To find a reputable pediatric dentist for kids, check online reviews.
Identify local pediatric dentists and consider the reviews for each one. Reviews teach you about a dentist’s services, manner, and how well they work of kids of a particular age. And if a reviewer leaves contact information in their review, don’t be afraid to reach out to get their honest opinion.
But it’s important to note that some dentists may use manipulative tactics to get patients or strangers to post five-star reviews.
4. Visit a Dentist School
A fantastic way to find a reputable pediatric dentist is to visit your local dental school. Ask the staff who they recommend as they likely know which pediatric dentists are skillful and work great with kids.
You can even consider getting your child’s treatment at the school as students are supervised by qualified pediatric dentists.
5. Meet and Greet
You’ve found this local dentist renowned in pediatric dentistry so it’s time to meet them in-person.
Consider meeting the dentist alone to decide whether they’re a good fit. Bring a “get to know me” book about your child especially if they have any sensory triggers or require a specific dental procedure.
Discuss what the first appointment entails so you can prepare your little one. Also, come equipped with questions so you can decide whether this pediatric dentist is the right one.
You could ask:
- What ages do you treat?
- Are you a member of the ADA and AAPD?
- How many years of experience do you have?
If you’re comfortable with their answers, bring your child along so you can see how the pediatric dentist interacts with them and how your kid feels.
The pediatric dentist should explain the procedure in basic terms so your little one knows what to expect.
During the first visit, your child’s teeth will be cleaned and examined so the pediatric dentist can give you information on how to make sure your child maintains good oral hygiene.
You’ll know the dentist is a great fit when the appointment is fun and stress-free for both you and your child.
6. Consider the Atmosphere and Environment
During your meet and greet, check out the dentist’s office and the waiting room. A study found 42% of children aged 10 to 14 experience dental fear so you must find a pediatric dentist who tries their best to accommodate little ones during their visit.
You should notice immediately whether it’s kid-friendly. For example, there should be toys or books to distract children to calm them down.
The dentist’s office should be spotless and organized. At your first meeting, ask about the medical tools to see if they’re designed for children. A telltale sign is that they’re much smaller than adult tools as they’d be uncomfortable for children.
7. See How the Dentist Reacts to Troublesome Children
Some children get overwhelmed or anxious when they visit the dentist and may act out. Reputable pediatric dentists are well-versed in calming kids down and taking the time to listen to their worries.
If the dentist looks like they’re losing their patience or become aggressive then find another pediatric dentist. Remember, your child should never get treated like a problem when during their visit.
Those Are Our Tips on Finding a Great Pediatric Dentistry Practice
Now you know how to find an excellent pediatric dentistry practice so your child gets the best dental care.
Start by asking parents for recommendations, checking online reviews, and visiting the dentist alone. Their waiting room must be kid-friendly and their office should be organized so you know they’re reliable.
Once you’ve comfortable, bring your little one along and get the treatment you both deserve. Happy hunting!
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