What to Look For and Consider When Choosing a Children’s Dentist
Choosing a children’s dentist who will take good care of your child’s teeth but still make the experience low-stress and fun is one of the most important steps you can take to promote your child’s oral hygiene and health. But, finding the right dentist for you child isn’t always easy. If you are currently on the hunt for a good children’s dentist, use these tips to guide you as you make your decision.
Finding a Dentist for Kids
Finding a children’s or pediatric dentist isn’t always easy, and it’s even harder to know if the dentist you have selected actually has the right training to work with little ones. If you’re having difficulty finding a pediatric dentist, consider these tips for initially finding a dentist.
- Ask friends and families for recommendations.
- Request a referral from your pediatrician.
- Call or visit local medical centers, private practices, or even dental schools in your area.
- Ask the dentist about his or her training. Pediatric dentists are required to complete two additional years of residency for training with babies, kids, teens, and children with special needs.
Selecting the Right Children’s Dentist
As you are looking for a dentist for your child, you will want to keep several things in mind. It is important to consider what type of care your child will receive from a dental professional as well as the general atmosphere of the office and available parent and child education and effective oral hygiene practices.
Professional Care for Your Child’s Teeth
While regular cleanings are standard from children to adults, children require some additional care from a dental professional. Keep in mind that a pediatric dentist should specialize in this type of care. Your child will see this dentist from infancy through adolescence and receive a variety of treatments including oral exams, risk assessments for cavities, repair of cavities and tooth defects, preventive dental care including fluoride treatments, assessment of normal tooth development, evaluation of the need for orthodontic treatment, management and prevention of gum diseases and oral conditions, and care of knock-out or fractured teeth.
Parent and Child Education
Additionally, your pediatric dentist should provide you and your child with comprehensive education about proper oral hygiene and dental care at home. Topics that your children’s dentist should cover with you include the effect of food and beverage choices on tooth development, ways to properly care for infant and baby teeth, appropriate techniques for brushing and flossing, the progression and development of baby teeth and permanent teeth, and instructions for handling a knocked-out or fractured tooth.
One of the most often overlooked yet all around most important aspects of a dental care provider for your child is the general atmosphere of the office itself. The atmosphere can truly “make or break” the experience for your child. As you visit a dentist’s office, look for ways that the dentist is catering to children – colorful paint, hands-on toys in the waiting area, instruments sized appropriate for a child’s mouth, etc. A pediatric dentist should be warm and welcoming to you and your child and know how to respond to a scared and crying child.
Selecting a children’s dentist can be a daunting task, but if you know what to look for, it helps. Consider these tips as you attempt to find a dental care provider for your child, and you’ll be able to find someone with whom you and your child are comfortable.
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