We understand what you’re very likely thinking right now. “My kid is going to lose their teeth anyway.” So what’s the point in taking them to see a pediatric dentist, much less on a routine basis? Great question, one you’re not alone in having!
Unfortunately, a child’s healthy smile doesn’t begin after a visit from the tooth fairy. A child’s first teeth are important to their health and development as they hold a space for permanent teeth growing under the gums, not to mention helping them chew, eat, speak and smile! So seeing a pediatric dentist has long-term consequences and benefits.
Beyond physical health, it’s important to prepare your child for the rest of their life. Setting healthy mouth-care habits at an early age, while fostering a positive attitude around visits to the dentist, sets a foundation for a lifetime of positive habits and experiences.
Now you better understand just why taking your child to the dentist routinely is important, but how exactly do you select the right family dentist for your kid and what things you should look for? No worry because we’re here to help. This post contains some helpful pointers that Gentle Touch Smiles for Kids put together for your consideration!
Prepare Through Research
Selecting a kids dentist is a very personal decision. You want to find somebody you can trust knows what they’re doing and who gives your child a positive experience while doing it because this is potentially the same person they’ll see for the rest of their life.
- Ask the people you trust like family, friends, neighbors or coworkers which pediatric dentist they see.
- Ensure your prospective dental offices receive positive ratings and reviews and are in a convenient location.
- What is the dental office’s policy and availability for emergency situations and are they equipped to handle the unexpected?
- Verify the office accept your dental plan.
- Are the dentists members of professional associations and societies?
Nothing is worse than taking time from your busy schedule only to find out that the prospective dental office won’t work after all because of procedural hang-ups. It is well worth the time to verify these key points beforehand. If all those boxes are checked, you’ve found a strong candidate for a kids dentist that’s right for your family! But there is still a little bit more you will likely want to consider.
Dental Office Evaluation
You’ve plucked out a qualified and trusted dentist in your area, now it’s time to see whether or not this is truly the best kids dentist for your family, and the office itself can leave nuggets of information to consider. You want a place that’s both warm and inviting to your child. Again, you want this to be a fun experience for your kid. Not a chore.
- Look for games, toys, books or any other things that seem inviting to your kid. Is there child-sized furniture or other amenities to suggest this office encourages children? Maybe cartoons or engaging, educational content on the televisions.
- Check to see if the dentist and office staff are friendly and interactive with your child. Do they appear comfortable communicating with your child or children of all ages (and sometimes behavior!), including patience and understanding of any preconceived fears your child may have about being in a doctor’s office setting.
- Notice if the services the dentist provides are catered toward children such as sunglasses to shield bright lights or toothbrushes with your kid’s favorite characters. Anything that makes the experience communicate fun!
Any and all of these characteristics are wonderful signs that you’ve done fantastic seeking out the right kid’s dentist for your family. Well done! Just a few more things to keep in mind and this dentist is likely the one for you.
Now that you know the pediatric dentist you’ve scouted is qualified and convenient for your family and provides a comfortable, positive visiting experience for your child, it’s time to consider just a couple more factors moving forward.
- Was your child seen promptly? Their health is important as is your time. Your dentist should care too!
- Look for gentle examination and care, but thorough from your kid’s dentist. There should be a balance of getting the job done right and ensuring your child’s comfort.
- The dentist should answer all the questions you have with concern and respect as well as offer you advice on the best dental care at home, causes and prevention of dental disease and any other topic important to a healthy smile.
- Be sure to discuss the visit with your child and ask how they felt about the whole experience and the dentist. Did they enjoy the experience and feel at ease about the process? Was the dentist a personality your child connected with and wants to see again?
There’s certainly no need to rush your decision. After all, as we’ve established to this point, choosing the right kids dentist for you and your family can be an important decision considering the odds you’ll continue to see the same dentist for many years to come!
You’ve done all the due diligence of a great parent when selecting your kid’s dentist. If you’re comfortable the dental office meets, or even exceeds, the criteria you scoped for, then you’ve done it. Congratulations!
Finding the right kid’s dentist for your family sets the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for your children and nurturing a positive dental experience your little one can carry with them throughout adulthood. Let every beautiful smile your child makes fill you with pride because you should be proud! It’s a nice reminder that you’re an amazing parent because you cared enough to make a proper, informed decision to the benefit of the most important person in your life!
At Gentle Touch Smiles for Kids, we understand what you should look for in your kid’s dentist and would love the opportunity to prove we’re the right fit for your family and help create that amazing, lifelong smile for your child. Schedule an appointment today!