As a parent, you only want the best for your child, and you know that proper healthcare will be key to their well-being both now and later in life. You also know that quality dental care is vitally important, and that being comfortable in the dental office is one of the best ways to foster good oral hygiene habits.
Chances are you also know that the earliest memories can be the longest-lasting ones. Children who experience pain and discomfort at the dentist early in life may grow up to be adults with less than optimum oral healthcare. As a parent, one of the best gifts you can give your child is finding them a kid-friendly dentist. With that in mind, here is a list of what to look for in a pediatric dentist.
A Pint-Sized Waiting Room
Dentists who welcome their pediatric patients may go out of their way to make their youngest charges comfortable. The presence of a pint-sized waiting room is always a good sign, so look around and draw your own conclusions.
Bonus points for dentists who stock their kid-sized waiting rooms with colorful books, fun toys, and other kids’ items. All of these touches can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for even the most anxious child.
Lots of Pediatric Patients
The number of kid-friendly dentists can be depressingly small, but that could actually aid you in your search. Given the limited supply of dentists in the category, pediatric patients and their parents will likely be beating down their doors.
If you want to see whether or not a supposed kid-friendly dentist walks to walk, head there without your child in tow. Before you make an appointment, take a look around. Are there lots of kids in the waiting room? If so, you may have found your child’s next dentist.
Positive Reviews and Referrals
Given the difficulty of finding a kid friendly dentist parents who finally find one are likely to share their experiences. Reviews of kid-friendly dentists can be much more helpful than opinions about adult practices in the area.
Other parents are likely to refer one another to those amazing kid-friendly dentists. If you have problems with your search, you might want to contact other moms and dads for recommendations.
Talking to the Staff
Parents have a sixth sense about their children, and that intuition can be valuable when choosing a kid-friendly dentist. As you take a tour of pediatric dentists, talk to the staff in each office. Do they seem friendly and outgoing? Do they go out of their way to make their pint-sized patients comfortable? If you can answer yes to those questions, you may have found the perfect dentist.
The opposite is also true, of course. If the staff is less than friendly, you might want to continue your search. Going to the dentist can be intimidating for children, and a bad experience with the hygienist or other dental professional could leave a long-lasting negative impression on their growing minds.
Fear of the dentist is a common phobia, and it can have a profound impact on the lives of those who suffer. Adults who fear the dentist may neglect their oral hygiene, leading to a lifetime of toothaches, gum disease, and even systemic health problems.
If you want your child to enjoy going to the dentist, finding a kid-friendly dental practice is a must. It is not always easy to find a pediatric dentist you can trust, but the smile of your child will make all the hard work worthwhile.