How To Pick A Pediatric Dentist
Finding the right pediatric dentist (also known as a pedodontist) to bring your child to can be a daunting task and there are many important factors to keep in mind. Seeking out a pediatric dentist from an early age is incredibly important to set lifelong oral habits.
We all want to make sure that our children are in good hands especially in their first years when their teeth are starting to appear, but how do you know if you are picking the right dentist for your child? Here are our top tips on picking a pediatric dentist!
Pediatric dentistry vs. adult dentistry
All dentists are trained to diagnose and treat oral health conditions: however, not all dentists are specially trained to practice dental care for young children. In addition to their normal education, pediatric dentists receive an additional 2 to 3 years of education that focus on the needs and conditions that affect infants and children. This additional education may cover a variety of topics ranging from the treatment of medically compromised and special needs children to developmental and growth issues related to the mouth, jaw, face and head. If you are unsure, you can always ask your dentist (or pediatric dentist) about the range of their education and how they are prepared to treat unique cases.
Online Reviews & Friends/Family Recommendations
Online reviews are useful to filter pediatric dentists that you are considering for your child. Looking at the feedback from other parents can help you notice how a particular dentist might handle a variety of key points such as bedside manner, office conditions, and even the typical age range they treat. Depending on where you are looking at reviews, you may even be able to see pictures of their office and waiting room to give you an idea of the type of environment you and your child will be visiting.
It is important to keep in mind that there will often be both positive and negative reviews, but if you are still on the fence, you can always schedule a consultation appointment to meet the pedodontist for yourself and see if they are a right fit for you and your child’s needs.
Reviews should not be the single determining factor in your choice. Finding one that describes your needs being met (or not) is important. Meeting people in online forums or relevant Facebook groups is another way for you to directly speak with others that have gone through, or are currently going through the same thing. For this reason, friends and family referrals carry significant weight too because as a parent your values will typically align with those you are consulting with. Therefore, a trustworthy recommendation can also be made by a relative or friend on who they bring their child to.
Are they proactive?
Finding a pedodontist who acts proactively to protect your child’s dental health is significantly more valuable than one that is reactive. A proactive pedodontist will utilize special cleaning methods that can avoid cavities or tooth infections before they happen. Depending on the age of your child, it may be difficult for them to communicate exactly what kind of dental pain or discomfort they are experiencing so if your pediatric dentist is proactive in their treatment methods then it is less likely any kind of discomfort will come about.
When practicing proactive pediatric dental care your dentist (or pedodontist) may choose to use fluoride treatment, which makes teeth more resistant to decay and can help to prevent cavities by repairing the teeth. Dental sealants may also be offered which acts as a shield over the enamel of a permanent tooth. A child’s teeth will naturally have many grooves which can make cleaning them properly difficult. Dental sealants cover these areas which will help to avoid any decay from taking place.
Listening and answering concerns
Whether you are a new parent or a bit more experienced, it is important that your dentist (or pediatric dentist) is available and ready to respond to any of your concerns you may have. Picking a dentist that takes the time to listen and answer honestly and truthfully is vital to establishing a positive relationship between you, your pediatric dentist, and the child. At Dental365 our pediatric dentists are specially trained to practice patience and care when treating any patient.
Do they make your child feel comfortable?
The greatest dentist in the world may still not have the bedside manner to keep your child comfortable and feeling safe. If this is the case your child may not want to go back to the dentist after their first few appointments. It is equally important to find a dentist who is skilled enough that they can also be sure to make their patients feel at ease during any level of care, whether that is a routine checkup or a more involved dental procedure. The right dentists can not only care for your child’s teeth but may also inspire them to practice healthy habits that will develop well into their future!
Dental365 carefully selects our pediatric team
Picking the correct choice for your child can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are looking for a dentist you can trust, reach out to our pediatric dental office, Little Smiles of Port Washington who can offer you the right care. Our dentists are specially trained to address all of your concerns while also practicing a fun and safe dental environment that will leave your child wanting to come back!