Family Dentist
Health & Fitness

Kids Dentist: What to Look for When Choosing a Pediatric and Family Dentist

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a new building for the first time? You’re excited to explore everything and everyone. The same is true when it comes to choosing a pediatric and family dentist. Keeping your child healthy starts with finding a dentist who will take care of their teeth and gums throughout childhood, not just until they leave the practice. Here are some tips to help you choose a pediatric and family dentist.

Ask for referrals and research online

It seems like every dentist is advertising on social media and running ads in local newspapers. Knowing who to trust can be a challenge. After all, not every doctor or dentist is going to want to advertise or be found online. Many practices will offer online reviews that you can use as a starting point. You can also look up the practice on social media networks to get an idea of the doctor’s personality and tone. Ask your pediatrician if there is a way you can research online. This can help you find a dentist with a healthy amount of trust but with a focus on the most important factor: Did the dentist take care of your child’s teeth? Talk to your pediatrician about who you can call for referrals and research.

Get a tour of the office

Does the dentist’s office make you excited to go back? You’ll want to get a tour of the office from your pediatric dentist. You want to check out the waiting room and exam rooms. You also want to peek into the office of the people who work there. You’re looking for signs of cleanliness and professionalism. There should be a clear receptionist desk, with an open door and a quiet, clean waiting room. The exam rooms and sterilization rooms should be clean, with nothing on the walls except the equipment they will be using on your child. If the dental office is in an area you don’t feel comfortable visiting, think about changing dentists. Keep in mind that even a new building can have bacteria on the walls and in the air. Changing offices isn’t going to magically make your child’s new office safe.

Ask plenty of questions

When you meet with your pediatric and family dentist, do a lot of the talking. Your pediatrician has a lot of information about your child’s health, so you want to make sure you ask all the right questions. You should be able to get an idea of your pediatric dentist’s approach, experience, and comfort level with meeting your needs. Ask your pediatric dentist questions about how they approach preventive care, how they handle emergency care, how often they clean a child’s teeth, and how they feel about having an open discussion about the health of your child’s teeth. Take notes. You’ll want to make sure you don’t forget any important details, even if the conversation isn’t formal. Keep the appointment book open and transcribe your notes so you don’t forget anything important. You can also use a dental appointment as an opportunity to discuss your child’s health and Oral Health Needs. This is a great way to start a conversation about how important it is to clean your child’s teeth.

Look for clinical training and experience

Look at the experience of the people who work at the practice. You’ll want to look at the experience and training of the hygienists and assistants who work at the practice. They will be performing a lot of daily care and treatment, and you want to make sure the person performing this is competent. You’ll also want to look at the experience of the dentists. You want to make sure that the person your child sees is trained in the pediatrician-approved protocols for treating cavities, periodontal disease, and oral malignancies. The experience of the dentist should also be reflected in the experience of the assistants. You want to make sure that the assistants know to use the correct protocols, that they are following the protocols, and that they are making the necessary diagnoses.

Don’t be afraid to have an oral health conference

There are a few things that some pediatric dentists might not be comfortable discussing with you. One of them is oral malignancies. They might not want to tell you to brush your child’s teeth, or they might not want to tell you to pull teeth. If they are not willing to have an open discussion about oral malignancy, it is not a good sign. This is something that every child should be aware of, and it is something that every child should be protected against. Another thing that some pediatric dentists might be uncomfortable discussing is periodontal disease. They might not want to tell you that a tooth removal is an option. If this is something you want to talk about, don’t be afraid to bring it up. You might be surprised by how open some dentists will be. Be careful, however, because some freaked out and brush their teeth extra hard.

Established practices will hold monthly practice alerts

Large practices will hold practice-specific news alerts, where they will share the latest information about how to protect your child against oral malignancy, how to protect your child’s teeth and gums against cavities, and how to promote good oral health behaviors. This is a great way to stay up to date on the latest information on protecting your child’s teeth and promoting good oral health behaviors. Make sure to follow the practice news on social media, too. You will want to make sure you don’t miss any practice updates.

Bottom line

There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a pediatric dentist. Here are some tips to help you choose a pediatric dentist. Get a referral from your pediatrician, visit the practice in person if possible, ask plenty of questions, get a tour of the office, and don’t be afraid to have an oral health conference. Established practices will hold monthly practice alerts. Large practices will hold practice-specific news alerts, where they will share the latest information on protecting your child against oral malignancy, protecting your child’s teeth and gums against cavities, and promoting good oral health behaviors.

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