Finding your child a dentist is something like hiring a lawyer – you don’t want to just pick one at random. That being said, it is recommended that kids see their first dentist when either their first tooth grows in or they reach their first birthday for their best chance at establishing healthy, lifelong oral hygiene habits.
How should you go about picking a pediatric dentist, however, and how can you be sure to find one that is experienced, professional and yet still great at making little ones feel at ease? When it comes to the initial search, consider the following.
When on the hunt for a qualified pediatric dentist, you may find it helpful to:
- Consult friends or family members. A personal recommendation from a long-time client is tough to top.
- Check out the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry database and search it for professionals in your area.
- Ask your pediatrician. Few people have a better grip on child health care needs and offerings in your community than your existing pediatrician.
- Search local review sites. This is also a great way to gather more information about a potential pediatrician you haven’t quite decided whether to see.
Once you have a few prospective professionals, you can start to research them further by name.
Additional Considerations in Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
Some parents prefer to have their children visit the same dental office that they do. If this sounds like you, that may be fine, depending on the age of your children. However, many younger children benefit from cheery, brightly colored environments designed and intended for kids. They also may find that the waiting room in pediatric dentist’s offices generally have more to offer the younger set than a few old magazines.
Finally, consider the unique needs and personality traits of your child. If they are generally timid or fearful of the dentist, you’ll want to factor this in in making your final decision and be sure to choose an office where he or she will feel especially comfortable and at ease.