There are many differences between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist. Many parents do not realize that a pediatric dentist is not the same as a general dentist. Your children have dental needs that adults do not have. You know how important it is to get your child to the dentist. But you might…
What To Look for When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
Choosing a pediatric dentist to care for your child’s teeth can be a hard decision to make, especially if there are many offices in the area to choose from. From looking online to getting a recommendation from a pediatrician, there are several ways to find a provider close by. After narrowing down the options, there are several important factors to consider before deciding which dentist and office is right for the job. Here is some useful information on what parents should look for when choosing a pediatric dentist.
Important factors to consider when choosing a pediatric dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says that a child’s first dental appointment should be scheduled no later than six months after the appearance of an infant’s first tooth or before the first birthday. To choose a pediatric dentist, start by evaluating the following factors.
The first important thing to consider when choosing an office is how qualified the dentist is to work on children’s teeth. While some people choose to take children to a general dentist, a pediatric dentist provides care specifically for children from infancy to adolescence. In addition to four years of dental school, these dentists must also have completed at least two years of residency training focused on caring for the teeth of children. The dentist should also be a member of the American Dental Association and of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
While the pediatric dentist will likely visit with a child towards the end of an appointment and examine the mouth for any issues or concerns, a majority of the appointment will likely by spent with a pediatric dental hygienist who will ask questions about the child’s dental habits, take any required pictures or X-rays and perform a cleaning. It is important that both the child and parent are happy with not only the dentist but the hygienist and other staff members as well. This is important for allowing the child to feel comfortable during the visit. While an unfriendly receptionist might not necessarily be a deal breaker, it is important to choose an office that offers the best experience possible and is willing to accommodate a child’s special needs.
In addition to providing care specifically geared towards children, a pediatric office should also be set up with kids in mind. A waiting room filled with fun toys and games can help a child get comfortable and even excited for dental appointments. Fun decorations and music can help ease a child’s anxieties as well. Many offices will also reward children with a fun prize such as a small toy or stickers at the end of the visit.
The right dentist can make a big difference in establishing a person’s view of dental work and in providing the right information and tips for creating great dental hygiene habits. This is especially important in childhood since developing good habits early on will likely continue into adulthood. For this reason, it is important to evaluate a pediatric dentist and office before making a decision.
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