As a parent, doing what is right for your kids is one of your highest priorities. When it comes to choosing the right dentist, the options can be overwhelming. Deciding on a dentist for your kids is more than just picking anyone out of the yellow pages; instead, you have to select a dentist who works well with your child, can alleviate their fears, and will start them on the road to good oral care. To help make this hard decision a little bit easier, we’ve put together a list of ways that you can choose the right dentist for your children.You can learn more about keeping your kid’s teeth healthy by reading “Oral Health Tips for Parents”
#1. All Dentists Aren’t the Same. Just because someone is a good dentist doesn’t mean that they have the ability or expertise to work with kids. Rather than searching dentists in general, seek out pediatric dentists – those who specialize in the oral care of children. Pediatric dentists have training specifically in taking care of kids’ teeth. They can help you understand the right at-home care for teeth, explain the ways that teeth develop, and get your kids the start they need toward a life-time of healthy habits. Pediatric dentists are experienced with children, so they understand ways to calm them down, address their concerns about procedures, and make visits to the dentist fun! You can find listings of local pediatric dentists by visiting dentists4kids.com
#2. Use Consultations to Narrow Down the Competition. Just like you wouldn’t get married to a total stranger, you don’t want to hand your children’s teeth over to just anyone! Rather than introducing your child to a dentist when they need their teeth cleaned or a cavity filled, opt to have a consultation before any actual work needs to be done. The majority of pediatric dentists offer free consultations, so it’s an opportunity for you to scope them out with no strings attached. Once you’ve located several pediatric dentists in your area, contact them and set up some consultations. Not only is this a chance for you to get to meet the dentist and get a grasp on their practices, but it will help them to develop your child’s trust. During the consultation, take note of the dentist’s ability to answer your questions, interest in your situation, and ability to work well with your child. If you find that the dentist is cold, uncaring, doesn’t mesh well with your kid, or doesn’t have time to talk, it’s definitely time to move onto the next option.
#3. Don’t Be Fooled: The Office Matters. Don’t let yourself get duped into believing that a good dentist can have a pathetic office. If someone is truly interested in kids and their well-being, they will have an office that caters to their needs. The waiting room should be well-stocked with toys, books, and television shows that appeal to the right age range. The office itself should welcome kids with equipment that is the right size and, as always, you should make sure that everything appears to be sterile and clean! Not only the dentist but also the staff should be warm and inviting to kids.
#4. Ask for Your Kid’s Opinion. Sure, the decision is ultimately up to you but, if you’re looking for the right dentist, it’s important that they mesh well with your child. Once you’ve visited several dentists, ask your child which one they liked best. Even if they simply like one more because they have “an awesome toy box”, you should respect your child’s wishes. If your child likes their dentist, they will be more enthusiastic about visits.
No one has ever said that choosing the right dentist is a walk in the park. It is a time-consuming, frustrating, and drawn-out job; however, when you land the right one, you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort!