Are you about to take your child to the dentist for the very first time? Given the importance of dental health for children, selecting the right professional is a must.
Insufficient oral healthcare in youngsters can result in infections, pain, teeth loss, bone structure loss, etc. Kids are much more susceptible to cavities when compared to adults. Hence, choosing the best pediatric dentistry is a significant decision for every parent. There are certain factors to consider in the decision-making process, such as the experience, qualifications, and attitude of the doctor.
If looking for pediatric dentistry, follow the useful tips below.
Understand the difference between a pediatric and family dentist
At the onset of your journey towards finding the right pediatric dentistry, you should understand the difference between a pediatric and family dentist. The former receives at least two years of extra schooling following dental school to become a specialist in children’s dentistry. These professionals have significant experience in working with patients from infancy to adolescence.
Moreover, pediatric experts use small tools especially suited for children. They are experienced and trained in working with kids of all personalities and temperaments. Their offices are meant to be kid-friendly. Conversely, the latter provides general dental services and works with dental patients of all ages. Such professionals provide the chance for parents and children to visit the same dentistry.
The job of pediatric dentists is to help the youngest feel comfortable when visiting the office. Their efforts are aimed at presenting dental care in a positive light for kids to keep to the same opinion throughout adulthood. Click here for some tips on helping kids overcome the fear of dentists.
Conduct some research
The following step in your search for pediatric dentistry is conducting some research. While it’s virtually impossible to pay a visit to each pediatric office in your local area in a short time, you could use the internet to conduct research. Doing such research may prove labor-intensive, but it helps you get familiar with your options.
There are certain factors to look at, which will help you in narrowing your options down. These factors include location, working hours, biography, and insurance. In terms of the location, the ideal location of a pediatric dentist would be nearby your home, as long trips tend to make children anxious. The working hours are supposed to fit the schedule of your family.
As far as insurance is concerned, it’s of great importance for the dentist to accept your insurance, which substantially reduces the costs. The majority of these dental professionals have a biography page on their sites, which provides insight into their qualifications and personalities.
Check experience and qualifications
The following aspects to consider when choosing pediatric dentistry are the experience and qualifications of these professionals. These dentists are supposed to have certifications that prove their education, training, and experience. They should be certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) after finishing their years of schooling. Such a certification is achieved by passing the oral and written exams by the ABPD.
Furthermore, obtaining such certification means the dentist is committed to patient care and continuous learning. Another important certification should be obtained from the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), which demonstrates the ability of dental professionals to perform orthodontic treatments. If the need for orthodontic care arises, you won’t have to worry about taking your child to another professional. Learn more about the branch of orthodontics.
Make an appointment
Choosing the right pediatric dentistry involves scheduling a consultation to finally meet the potential dentist. Such consultations provide patients with a first impression of the environment and the doctor, which facilitate the process of making a decision. It’s paramount for the environment to be safe and welcoming for your kid to feel comfortable.
In addition, a child-friendly environment is supposed to contain entertaining features to distract the attention of children from the dental tools and noise. For instance, most pediatric dentists make sure their offices are equipped with TVs with kids’ movies on the ceiling right above the dental chair, color-changing ceiling lights, bubble walls, etc. These specialists also use stuffed animals to demonstrate the techniques of flossing and brushing.
Parents should check whether the office has a playroom where patients can be entertained before their appointments. Also, it’s always a good idea for youngsters to be provided with a reward once the appointment is over as a reward for being outstanding patients.
The connection between the dentist and your child is incredibly important, as children should feel comfortable during their dental visits. Even if the office environment is designed to be kid-friendly, it won’t be worth anything if your child doesn’t click with the doctor. Keep in mind that the entire visit is supposed to be a positive experience.
Check if parents are allowed to stay in the treatment room
Another thing most parents wish to check is whether they are allowed in the treatment room with their children. While most pediatric dentists permit parents to accompany their kids during dental check-ups or procedures, some doctors don’t. If you believe that accompanying your youngster during treatments is a must, make sure the doctor provides such permission.
Many pediatric dentists consider the presence of parents more than welcome, as parents get educated on how to promote oral health practices to their kids at home. Also, parents can ask as many questions as they want in the course of the treatment and have potential concerns addressed. Most kids find the presence of their parents soothing, which improves the response of youngsters to the treatment.
On the other hand, some dentists are concerned that the anxiety exhibited by parents might make their kids anxious as well. Therefore, parents are advised to remain positive and calm in the course of the entire procedure.
A final note
The right dentistry is supposed to be kid-friendly and well equipped.
Your child should feel comfortable and unafraid to visit the dentist!