Are you wondering if it’s time to take your child to a pediatric dentistry? As long as they’ve gotten their first tooth, then now’s a great time to go!
But don’t just head off to the nearest pediatric dental office in town. Instead, take some time to research the best options and ensure the dentist can meet your child’s needs.
Visiting the dentist for the first time can make children anxious. So you don’t want to end up choosing a pediatric dentist who is impatient and doesn’t interact well with your kid. Your child may also have a special need like autism or a medical condition that requires special care.
Read on to learn all about what you should look for in a pediatric dentistry.
Know How to Get Suggestions
A great place to begin your search for a pediatric dentist is to use the tool available from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website. You can simply type your zip code and desired radius to see qualified pediatric dentists near you.
It’s also a good idea to ask your friends and family members with children about which pediatric dentist they see. This can provide insight on how their children interact with the dentist and clue you in on whether the office caters to kids with special needs.
Don’t forget to check the pediatric dentistry’s social media pages and website as well for customer reviews. This will show you both the good and bad so you can make a more informed decision.
Check the Dentist’s Credentials and Expertise
Once you’ve found a pediatric dentistry that looks appealing, look up the dentist’s name online. Make sure they have an appropriate license and completed a dental school program. You’ll also want to check for their specialized training in pediatric dentistry.
If you can’t find this information easily online, don’t hesitate to call the dental office. You can also try searching their name on the state dental boards.
Along with checking credentials, investigate the office’s websites to learn about any special groups of children they help. For example, some pediatric dentistries focus on helping children with autism.
Check out the Office Environment
To minimize your child’s fears, you want to choose a dental office that relaxes them from the time they enter the building. Find out if the office has an appealing waiting room with toys and furniture specifically sized for children.
Also, investigate what the examination room is like. Often you’ll find a colorful room with peaceful nature or animal scenes on the wall. There may also be a TV and stuffed animals to keep kids occupied during their treatments.
Look for Patient, Friendly Staff
You don’t want to let rude or uncaring staff make your child afraid of the dentist and avoid going in the future. A pediatric dentistry of high quality will know how to communicate calmly and patiently to children and manage common behavioral issues.
The dental professionals should be willing to put your kid’s fears at ease by explaining what they’re doing. They should also answer questions in an age-appropriate way and demonstrate good pediatric dental hygiene techniques to your little one.
At the same time, the dental hygienist, dentist, and any assistants should be gentle when working in your child’s mouth. If the professionals seem pushy or forceful, consider looking elsewhere!
Consider Any Special Needs Your Child Has
Does your child have an anxiety disorder or a condition like autism? If so, then a regular dental visit can become much more challenging for you both.
If your child does have special needs, consider that you may need an office with professionals trained in your child’s condition. You might also need an office that can offer sedation services that will calm down your child and get dental work done safely.
A good pediatric dentistry will support your child and offer some helpful tips to help them through the appointment. They might recommend earplugs or sunglasses for sensitive children, for example. Your kid may also get some headphones to listen to calming music or lie on a massaging mat.
Explore the Office’s Services
For your child’s comfort and your convenience, you’ll want to choose a pediatric dental office that can handle everything from basic exams to complex dental procedures. You’ll also want to consider whether the office will still meet your needs even when your child becomes a teenager.
Look for a pediatric dentistry that particularly puts an emphasis on preventative care. This includes routine oral exams, cleanings, x-rays, sealants, and fluoride treatments. A good office will also educate you and your child on proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Also, check what types of fillings and other restorative services are offered. Tooth-colored fillings and stainless steel crowns are popular choices. You’ll also want to consider the sedation options like laughing gas or IV sedation your kid may need.
And while your child could visit a separate orthodontist later on, it may be worth checking if the pediatric dentistry can provide such services. Not only may you find this more convenient, but your child may feel more comfortable getting braces from the dentist they’ve grown up visiting. Also, you’d benefit from an office that knows your child’s teeth well.
Find a Pediatric Dentistry Now
Taking your child to a pediatric dentistry does more than keep their baby teeth healthy. By practicing good oral hygiene now and getting regular checkups, you’ll set your child on a path to good oral health for a lifetime.
To make your search easier, consider becoming a new patient at our pediatric dentistry. We’ll provide you with a friendly environment and treat you and your child like family. We also have the training to help anxious children and can even provide nitrous oxide to make your child’s dental visit more comfortable.
Are you ready for your child to have an excellent dental experience? Feel free to contact us today to schedule a consultation for you and your child!