Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist for Your Kids
Finding the right dentist for your children is key for setting them up for success. The right dental clinic provides treatment and education in an empathetic, simplified way that children can understand. The wrong clinic can instill negative emotions in your child and leave a bad taste in their mouth – literally and figuratively! Resulting in fear and anxiety of the dentist and poor oral health.
Not every dental clinic is equipped to treat children. Even then, there are some that are better at accommodating children than others. Here are some things to consider when choosing a dentist for your kids.
Find Out Their Reputation
The first step in finding a dentist for your kids is doing your research. Scouring the internet will show you clinics in your area and provide information such as hours of operation, parking, and reviews.
Don’t undervalue word-of-mouth referrals. This is often the best way to get credible feedback on a clinic or dentist. If a friend or family member goes out of their way to give a glowing recommendation then that clinic must have made a great impression.
Call The Clinic
Once you’ve settled on a shortlist of dental clinics, it’s a good idea to call them and speak to their front-desk staff. Have a list of questions handy so you can determine if they check all of your boxes. Everyone has different needs and requirements.
Ask questions specifically about their pediatric dental care. Does the clinic welcome children? Can your child sit in your lap if they’re nervous? Are any of the dentists specially trained in pediatric dentistry? These factors can all make a big difference in the type of care your child will receive.
Ask About Pediatric Equipment
One big consideration in choosing a dentist for your child is whether the clinic has pediatric equipment. Small dentist chairs, kid-sized dental tools, and sunglasses will help children feel more at ease during their appointment. Sitting in a big chair that engulfs them and having adult-sized instruments placed in their mouth can make a child feel uncomfortable and out of place.
Have A Conversation
When you arrive at the clinic, have a conversation with the dentist who will be attending to your child. Ask them what kind of procedures they perform and what protocols they recommend for at-home care. You can gauge their personality and chairside manner simply by chatting with them. The most important parts of good oral care are patience and communication. If a dentist is making you feel rushed and annoying just for asking basic questions, that’s a definite red flag. A good pediatric dentist should consult both you and your child using simple terminology prior to their treatment and address any concerns.
There’s a lot to pick up during your child’s first visit to the dentist. Dentists are advised to use the “Tell-Show-Do” method when it comes to using new tools on children. The first step is to talk about the tool. The next step is showing it to the child and demonstrating it on a model if need be. Finally, the dentist uses the tool. After the session, the child should be rewarded with a care package tailored to kids.
A pediatric dentist does more than just clean your child’s teeth. There are many instances when a child might need a dentist’s attention, including:
- Receiving a mouthguard to prevent sports injuries
- Repair cavities
- Address gum diseases such as gingivitis
- Diagnose oral conditions brought about by diabetes
- Address improper development (teeth growing in crookedly, root issues, etc)
- Address ulcers
- Provide counseling on how to take proper care of their teeth at home
- Treat dental injuries (a fractured or broken tooth for example)
As you can see, a dentist plays a big role in a young person’s life. Our teeth do a lot for us; dentists do a lot for our teeth. Finding the right dentist for your child will help them feel comfortable and confident during their appointments. This will help them learn good habits and take pride in their oral health. We are in a life-long relationship with our teeth, and subsequently our dentists. Getting your kids off to the right start will help them enjoy and value that relationship!
When choosing a dentist for your child, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Compile a list of the best dental clinics in your area and inquire about how they care for their young patients. Ask for word-of-mouth recommendations, and watch and listen closely to how your child’s dentist interacts with them. Your child will benefit from your attention to detail, today and for years to come.
Are you looking for the best dentist for your kids? Dawson Dental offers top dental care in Toronto and the GTA. If you’re looking for a dentist in Toronto, call us at 1-855-406-2742 or contact us here.