What makes a good pediatric dentist?
Taking your little one to the dentist can be quite scary for both you and the child. As such, understanding what you should expect helps in easing any anxiety priority to the visit.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that a child has his/her first oral visit by the age of 1. What’s more, in case family history suggests any risks of oral issues such as early cavities, earlier visits might be necessary.
Usually, the very first appointment is mainly for checking the hygiene of teeth and determining how well are they developing. When looking for a pediatric dentist, several qualities need to be kept in mind in order to ensure that your child is at ease with this experience. These qualities are as follows:
The Dentist Should Be Attentive and Gentle to the Children
While you are opting for a dental practice, you need to look for a dentist who is reputed for being gentle and kind towards children. A dentist who is gentle and vastly experienced in handling children will be well versed with how to react in a productive way when a child throws a tantrum or becomes frightened. Plus, you should also look for a child-friendly staff as that will also establish more welcoming and calming atmosphere for the child. This will certainly help the child in overcoming their fears.
He or She Should Respond to All Parental Concerns
One other quality of a decent dental practice is responsiveness to any parental concerns. You should look for a practitioner who’s willing to address and answer all of your concerns and questions, regardless of how insignificant they might seem. Prior to the appointment, prepare a list of questions to make sure all of your concerns get addressed.
A Child-Centric Atmosphere
Another sign of a qualified pediatric dentist is a focus on all the needs of the children. A child can be quite resistant and hesitant to his/her first visit. This is why they require additional moral support. Having a practice which focuses on what the child needs to get through their first visit is important. You should definitely look for a practice which lets you sit with your child during their appointment.
A Vested Interest in the Oral Health of Children
A good pediatric dentist will always have a vested interest in the oral health of a child. This includes talking in detail with the parents regarding the development of teeth. Moreover, the pediatric dentist should also explain proper habits for oral hygiene in detail.
Personality Traits Your Pediatric Dentist Should Have
A good pediatric dentist needs to have many qualities in order to make children feel safe and secure when they are at the dentist.
Going to the dentist can be a very scary thing. Even for adults, thoughts of going to the dentist can bring on feelings of fear, dread, anxiety, claustrophobia, and more. Taking this into consideration, it goes without saying that going to the dentist can be downright traumatic for children. Children are much more sensitive and prone to anxiety when it comes to being sat down in a chair and having a masked person stick loud tools into their mouth.
For this reason, a trusted pediatric dentist is absolutely essential when it comes to getting dental work done on children. Pediatric dentists need to possess a special list of qualities if they wish to thrive in their position. Let’s take a look at five personality traits your pediatric dentist should have.
A Love for Children
It goes without saying that your pediatric dentist should love children. Children are much different than adults and they require a certain amount of patience and understanding to effectively care for. Anybody who works with children needs to be kind and patient towards them.
Children may be underdeveloped in terms of mental capabilities, but one thing they can sense better than adults is if somebody likes them or not. If your pediatric dentist truly loves children, your child will be able to tell and will feel more comfortable around them.
All dentists need to be knowledgeable, however pediatric dentists need to be especially knowledgeable of children’s teeth. There are many different things pediatrics dentists need to look out for like signs of thumb sucking, pacifier use, and teeth grinding.
Kid Friendly Office
Normal dentist offices are boring and they might scare a child. A pediatric dentist needs to have an office that is decorated and colorful to make the children feel much more at home. They should have things like cartoons playing on a TV, toys, and decorations to take the child’s mind off of the dental work.
Children need to be educated on why it’s important to brush their teeth, how to brush their teeth, and what will happen if they don’t brush their teeth. A good pediatric dentist should be able to communicate all of this to your child in a way that isn’t boring and monotonous.
Although a pediatric dentist needs to be kind, they also need to be able to get children to cooperate. A good dentist will usually be able to get a child to cooperate with them, without having to boss them around or scare them.
Things to consider when choosing a pediatric dentist for your child
Whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned pro, you want to take care of your kid’s health. In the same way you send your child to a pediatric doctor who specializes in medical care for children, you should also send him or her to a pediatric dentist for their oral care.
Visiting the dentist in your child’s first year may seem early, but this is a pivotal time as your child’s baby teeth are appearing.
You can get things off to a great start by visiting a pediatric dentist who can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth.
Here a key things to consider when choosing the right pediatric dentist for your child:
Do they have Special Training?
Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health. This is because they have an additional two to three years of training, in addition to four years of dental school and four years of college study. Some pediatric dentists (including those at Children and Teen Dental) practiced general dentistry before specializing, giving them a unique perspective.
The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and create a pleasant experience. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating patients with special needs.
Do they Provide a Fun, Welcoming Environment?
Many people fear going to the dentist…even adults. That’s why our primary responsibility is to ensure that going to a pediatric dentist is not a frightening experience. We designed our offices to be bright, happy places for both the physical and psychological needs of children. You’ll find an environment that brings about ear-to-ear smiles and radiates a friendly tone.
But it’s not just the building or the decor…the people here are fun and welcoming too! We believe the workplace should be fun, especially for our patients.
We use positive language, even when things might be uncomfortable, to help children have a positive experience. We describe things with words like pinch, wiggle, whistle, and raincoat to describe the dental environment.
We also use a technique called “TELL, SHOW, DO” while treating your child:
- We will TELL your child what we are going to do
- SHOW them what we are going to do
- and DO the procedure
The main goal here is to build trust and establish communication with the child. Sometimes this requires funny voices or nonverbal expressions, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure your child is comfortable with their pediatric dentist.
Do they Take a Preventative Approach?
It’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive, and pediatric dentistry is no exception. Waiting until your child already has a cavity that causes pain is too late. Since children are much more susceptible to tooth decay than adults, you want to find a dentist who understands the mouths of children and can recognize problems before they become even more problematic.
At Children & Teen Dental, we offer several treatments that help prevent tooth decay in children. One example is a dental sealant, which forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Baby teeth have tiny grooves that make it almost impossible to keep clean, even if your child brushes regularly. Dental sealants help protect those grooves and prevent tooth decay.
Another preventative approach is fluoride treatment. Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay and even repairs tiny areas of decay before they become big cavities. We start by examining the amount of fluoride your child already receives through tap water or toothpaste, and if necessary, recommend fluoride supplements.
Dental sealants and fluoride treatment can prevent 95% of tooth decay, providing a healthy smile for your child for years to come.
Do they Treat You Like Family?
It’s important to have a relationship with your pediatric dentist built on trust. Your child’s oral health is important, and you need to know that they are in good hands. Our mission is to be a group of dedicated professionals who believe in building lasting relationships in our communities and with our patients.
That means we treat each patient like family. We treat others the way we want to be treated, and offer personalized care to meet your child’s specific needs. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity, and seek to be completely honest in every evaluation and treatment. And of course, we love making visits a fun experience for both you and your child.
How did the Consultation Go?
A child’s first visit to the dentist should be more of a consultation. It is a chance to get to know the pediatric dentist, both for you and your child. This will give you a chance to observe the environment– does it feel safe and welcoming? Does your child seem comfortable around the pediatric dentists? Does the pediatric dentist seem competent and capable to care for your child’s unique needs?