Choosing A Pediatric Dentist
The health of your children is not to be taken lightly, especially in their formative years. Finding the right pediatric dentist will allow your child to have a happy, healthy smile for years to come.
When should my child go to the dentist?
While professional recommendations tell parents to take their children to the dentist around one year of age, you should go as soon as their primary teeth begin to erupt. This can be as soon as six months after birth.
Call your pediatric dentist immediately if you notice any of the following physical symptoms:
- A chipped or broken baby tooth, even if there is no bleeding or pain
- Swelling or pain in and around the jaw area
- Bleeding gums before or after oral cleaning
- No tooth eruption for longer than 18 months
How do I find the right dentist for my child?
Children don’t get a say in who we choose as their dentist, so it’s important to find someone who you know is willing to work with your child. Some younger children have a very real fear of the dentist or strangers, and it may not be easy to convince them otherwise. By sticking with an experienced pediatric dentist, you’ll be setting your child up for success.
What to look for in a pediatric dentist office:
- A professional, cordial front office staff
- A personal meeting/greeting with the dentist
- A clean, sanitized working space
- An explanation of what the dentist wants for your child’s oral care needs
In the end, you should feel comfortable with the person with whom you entrust with your child’s oral care. If you get a bad feeling or feel unwelcome, take your business elsewhere.
How do I prepare my child for the dentist?
Once you find the perfect dentist for your child, you’ll need to prepare for their first appointment. Pick a date and time where you can casually go to the office versus being stuck in stress-inducing traffic. Allow your child to bring a favorite toy or a small, special treat. Stay calm and act natural, as your child will pick up on your stress cues and naturally assume the worst. It’s okay to have some reservations about going to the dentist, but remember that the benefit of having a professional on your side will work wonders in giving your child the best chance at a healthy smile for a lifetime.