Whether your child has only a few newly-sprouted teeth or already has a mouthful of permanent adult teeth, routine dental care with a dentist your child is comfortable with is crucial. This helps ensure that he or she maintains healthy teeth and gums during their growth. When choosing your child’s pediatric dentist, you’ll want to find an experienced, patient dental professional who is experienced in working with children.
What to Expect from a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists have finished two to three years of training following dental school and have extensive knowledge in child psychology, growth, and development. Your child’s pediatric dental office should have welcoming staff members and a pleasant office. They will also often have kid-size play equipment, games, and/or a waiting room that provides toys and kids’ books. You can expect other kid-friendly elements like sunglasses to block their eyes from the bright lights during a cleaning or exam, toothbrushes with cartoon characters, and kids shows playing on televisions which can make the visit less scary and more comfortable and even fun for children.
When looking for a pediatric dentist nearby, you can get references from your child’s pediatrician, other parents, or your own dentist. Local pharmacists and family doctors sometimes can also provide a referral. If you are relocating, be sure to ask your child’s current dentist if they can recommend a pediatric dentist in your new location.
Evaluate the Office
Before the visit, be sure to ask:
- Does the dentist have special training or certifications in children’s dentistry?
- Is the dental office set up for kids? For example, does it offer toys, games, books, or kid-sized furniture?
- How does the dentist handle emergencies? (Many offices have an answering service available during closed hours.)
- Is the in a convenient location like nearby your home or your child’s school?
- Does the dental practice accept your dental insurance plan?
- After the visit, ask yourself:
- Was your child seen on time for their visit?
- Were you asked for your child’s complete medical and dental history?
- Was the dentist gentle but thorough while examining your child’s mouth?
- Did the dentist or staff discuss maintaining good dental health with your child?
- Did the dentist talk to you about your child’s tooth development, the causes and prevention of dental disease, and the best dental care at home?
- Were your questions answered in a timely and respectful manner?
- Did your child have a good experience?
A good pediatric dentist will take the time to discuss the basics of maintaining good oral hygiene with your child, and demonstrate these practices like brushing your teeth, flossing and rinsing. Any procedures should be explained to your child beforehand using kid-friendly words, making the entire experience comfortable and educational for you and your child.
Children’s Dental Hospital offers excellent pediatric dental care, click here to learn more about the services offered.