As a parent, your number one priority is your child’s health, and that includes their oral health. Early visits to a pediatric dentist can set your child up for healthier dental habits later in life. Earlier exposure to dental care can also help prevent early decay and cavities within teeth, as well as giving the parents information on how to care for their child’s teeth. But how do you choose a pediatric dentist that is right for your child and your family? What qualifications should they have? What environment is best? Picking a dental professional that can properly treat your child and be a pleasant face for your child to see is very important. Here are just a few tips on what to look for when choosing a pediatric dentist.
What Training Should Your Pediatric Dentist Have Received?
Anyone wishing to become a dentist must complete four years of dental school, as well as having completed their bachelor’s degree. The main difference between family dentistry and pediatric dentistry is that pediatric dentistry requires an addition two to three years of specialized training. During this training, they will learn a bit about child psychology and how to interact with children. They are taught how be be comforting to a possibly scared child, and how to work with a child that may have special needs. They are also taught how to take care of the child’s teeth, as well as becoming well-versed in preventative dental care for children. Pediatric dentists will likewise have more direct experience with treating children. You can also search for a pediatric dentist near you on the ADA (American Dental Association)’s website at https://findadentist.ada.org/.
It is also important to find a pediatric dentist that provides a safe and pleasant environment for your child. For children, a dentist can be a scary person, poking and prodding at their teeth with scary sounding instruments. So, keeping them happy and calm is key. Upon the first visit, the staff should very welcoming and jovial. The waiting area should be filled with children’s toys, books, and activities to keep them occupied while waiting. Inside the area where your child is treated, there should be child-friendly aspects to the office. Some of these may include:
- Child-sized tools
- Character themed toothbrushes and gowns
- Kid-friendly TV shows playing
Pediatric Dentist Interactions with Your Child
The staff should be very honest with the children about what procedures they are doing. They should describe each step with child-friendly language. They should get the child interested in what they are doing versus having the child be afraid of the unknown. Establishing that trust, even with a child, can make the biggest difference on their future dental habits and demeanor at future visits.
They should also be explaining their preventative approach with your child. Teaching them the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth is key in preventing future dental problems. When your child believes that brushing and flossing their teeth is a fun activity, they will engage in it more often. Your pediatric dentist should explain these to your children in a way that makes them fun and exciting, possibly by adding a songs, rhymes, or other fun activities!
When choosing a pediatric dentist for your child, it can seem pressuring to choose the perfect one. Your friends and family’s experiences can help sway your decision, but ultimately, you are making the best decision for your specific family needs. Look for a pediatric dentist that is knowledgeable in their field: enough to explain preventative measures to the parents, enough to provide great dental care, and enough to understand the needs of your children, one that creates a calm and inviting environment so your child is not scared or anxious about dental visits or dental health, and a dentist that takes the care of your child’s dental health seriously and treats them in a way that makes dental health fun and exciting for them. In the end, you want a pediatric dental professional that you can trust and that your child can trust!
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, call the office of Maestri Dental. Our team of professional and dedicated hygienists are ready to treat your children in a fun and exciting atmosphere, and they are prepared to give parents the tools to continue proper dental care with their children at home. Find a pediatric dental team you can trust at Maestri Dental!