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There are a lot of factors for parents to consider when deciding on when to start taking their children to the dentist, as well as who they should take their children to see. The good news is that when choosing a dentist, you can know that dentistry is generally considered to be a highly trusted profession. In fact, it’s regularly listed as one of the top 10 most trusted and ethical professions within the United States.
However, just because a dentist is trustworthy and ethical, doesn’t mean that they’re the right dentist for your child. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to distinguish between those that specialize in dentistry for children or families and those who purposefully chose more intense fields, or specializations that involve more adult patients than children. But children’s dentists still vary widely, and it’s not easy to simply hop from dentist to dentist. Therefore, it’s important for parents to be careful as they compare different pediatric dentists.
With that being said, let’s look into a few of the traits to consider when choosing a pediatric dentist, and how you can start your child off on the right foot going to the dentist’s office. After all, a lot of children grow up being afraid of the dentist. This isn’t because they have received poor dental care or have been treated by bad dentists. It’s often because their parents didn’t familiarize them with dentistry for children at a young age, or chose a dentist that did not properly work with them. Fortunately, there are concerted steps you can take to change that.
It’s important to begin your hunt for the right child dentist early. Theoretically, your children should start getting used to having their teeth brushed as soon as they get teeth. For that matter, it’s important that their teeth are taken care of from a young age. Therefore, your child should probably have their first dental appointment when they’re one year old. If you feel like the dentist you chose was perhaps the incorrect choice, you’ll also be able to find a new one before your child even knows it! Your child’s first dental appointment will probably be their most stressful. Therefore, if their dentist meets the challenge, you can be reasonably assured that dentistry for children is really their calling.
Your child’s dentist needs to have a great rapport with them and with you. After all, this a relationship that will last almost two decades, if not longer should your child decide to take their own family to the same dentist someday. Most dentists that specialize in dentistry for children understand that they need to have a good rapport and break the ice with kids and adults alike. If your child genuinely doesn’t get along with their dentist, however, that’s something to consider as well. There’s a difference between a fear of the dentist and not getting along with your dentist. Furthermore, a good family dentist will be able to work with you to deal with any irrational fears. Therefore, you should evaluate your child’s rapport with their dentist carefully during each visit, and address any concerns with the dentist.
When a dentist is considering specializing in dentistry for children, they’ll ideally have an office or work at an office that reflects this interest. A good family dentist’s office will have employees who are happy to work with kids, from the dental hygienists to the receptionists. You may notice a soothing office with games for kids to play, or perhaps music played during your child’s exam. A lot of family dental offices will also offer children treats or prizes when they finish their visits.
All of this should be considered when choosing your child’s dentist. However, ultimately you may have to trust your gut to an extent; and the right dentist will have the qualities you’re looking for, not only in terms of their qualifications, but who they are as a person.