Did you know that one in five children ages 5-11 has at least one untreated decayed tooth? That’s why regular visits to the dentist are important for children of any age.
But how can you go about finding the best pediatric dentist for your child? How do you know that you’re making the right choice, and how can you be sure that the dentist you choose is actually qualified?
Luckily, we’re here to help you answer all those questions and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about finding the best dentist for kids.
1. Ask Other Parents
When in doubt, turn to other parents in your life — especially if their children are older than yours. Chances are, they’ve dealt with this exact thing already and they know how you’re feeling. They can help you navigate the process, but they can also help you avoid mistakes they may have already made before.
Ask for their recommendation, but then also ask to have a conversation about the entire experience. Think about all the questions and worries you have, and you might find that they’re a lot more willing to help you out than you may have originally thought.
2. How Much Experience Do They Have?
No matter which dentist you’re considering, you want to learn about their experience in the field. Have they worked with children around the age of your child before? Do they have experience with the things they might need?
Now, remember that longevity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Sure, maybe someone’s been in the field for a long time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be the best in the business.
3. Confirm Their Credentials
Once you have an idea about a dentist’s credentials, then you want to confirm those credentials. Find out where they were trained and educated and how long ago they graduated. Most importantly, though, you want to ensure they encourage continued education.
If someone graduated from a decent school 20 years ago, you want to make sure they’re not still only using the techniques they learned at that time. In fact, someone who promotes using new technologies and techniques is someone whose going to ensure the best care for your child.
You want to also ensure they’re board certified by asking for proof of those credentials. If they can’t give them to you, then you should scratch them off your list.
With over 955,000 dentists in the United States, you don’t need to worry about finding a qualified practitioner for your child.
4. How Are Their Reviews?
When you’re considering a certain dentist, you want to be sure to read their reviews. This is going to give you a great idea about how they work with others, and what patients and parents usually walk out feeling like.
If all the reviews you read are bad, then you know that dentist might not be the best choice for you. If they only have one or two, then you should know that’s completely normal and to be expected.
You can find reviews by pulling up their listing with the Better Business Bureau. You can find reviews for pretty much any business, and it’s a great place to read about other parents’ experiences.
5. Book a Consultation
Something that a lot of parents don’t consider is the location of their child’s potential dentist. If they’re too far from you, then it’s not always going to be feasible to take your child there whenever it’s needed.
If it’s in a convenient location, however, then you know you’re going to be able to make every single one of your child’s appointments. So, book a consultation with the dentist in advance. You’re going to know how far it is from your house, and you’re also going to be able to meet the person working with your child.
Pay attention to the office itself while you’re there. You want to ensure it’s kid-friendly, and that the waiting room can keep your child happy. This can help ease stress and anxiety before an appointment.
6. Ask About Prevention
During that first visit, ask the dentist about their services and their process. You want to ensure they prioritize prevention so things like cavities and other procedures don’t have to happen as often.
Yes, cavities can be prevented, and with their dentist’s help, your child may not ever develop one at all. Great preventative measures are applying a sealant to the teeth and providing fluoride treatments after cleanings.
7. How Does Your Child Feel?
When you go in for a consultation with your child, pay attention to their reactions and mannerisms. How do they behave? Do they seem like they’re stressed about the environment, or do you notice them engaging with the dentist?
How you feel about the dentist is important, but it’s even more imperative that they feel safe and comfortable whenever they get a cleaning — especially if you’re not going to be in the room with them while it’s happening.
They’re the one that has to visit this dentist regularly, so it’s important to ensure they’re comfortable with or without you while they’re there.
Ready to Find the Best Pediatric Dentist?
Now that we’ve gone over a few tips to help you find the best pediatric dentist, it’s time to get started. Whether this is your child’s first time going to the dentist or you’re just on the hunt for a new one, keeping these few tips in mind during your search is going to change the entire process.
Not only are you giving yourself a chance to ensure you’re doing right by your child, but you’re also letting them in on the process, which lets them experience a whole new kind of freedom.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.