Experts recommend that you start taking your child to the dentist when their teeth start coming in. At the latest, they recommend that their first dental visit take place by their first birthday.
If you have a young child, you’ll be looking for a pediatric dentist sooner than you think. It can be difficult to know how to proceed to make sure your child establishes a good relationship and good habits.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. There are easy ways to find a good pediatric dentist.
Why a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists go through at least 2 years of schooling after becoming a dentist in order to specialize in pediatric issues. The rapid development that occurs in children’s mouths as well as the emotional and physical needs of even the smallest children are where these types of dentists dedicate their time and skills.
Their offices are often very family friendly, with waiting rooms designed with children in mind, and office policies centered around making sure that concerns of children and their parents are addressed.
Pediatric dentists know how important it is to get your child used to aa good oral hygiene routine, and are well-versed in the problems that often crop up with children, including dealing with an increased risk of cavities and gingivitis.
They are used to working with your family to establish a good relationship and good habits, and have the skill to spot problems before they become serious enough to cause potential pain.
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
Choosing a pediatric dentist doesn’t have to be time consuming. You can ask for recommendations from friends and family, or ask for a referral from your pediatrician. Local websites will be able to tell you which pediatric dentists are near you, and you can search online to find information about their office and read reviews from other parents.
Pediatric dentists not only work in private practices, but they also work in medical centers and dental schools, so don’t necessarily shy away from them if they work in a larger practice or different environment.
Ask about training, especially if your child has any special needs. This not only includes their formal education, but also includes continuing education that can tell you what their fields of particular interest are. You may find this information provides some comfort if your child has or might have issues in the future. If your family has a history of high risk of cavities or needing orthodontics, a good pediatric dentist can help tackle these issues before and as they arise.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has a search feature on their website to help you find good pediatric dentists in your area.
Some pediatric dentists are willing to have a first visit in which your child won’t get much treatment in order to get a good relationship established and make sure that your child’s first experience doesn’t lead to a fear of the dentist. If you worry that your child might be anxious about the dentist, this type of benefit can ensure that they develop memories of the dentist that alleviate any fears that might crop up in the future.
Most children see the dentist once every 6 months not only to establish a good working relationship, but to give the dentist ample opportunity to see problems as they crop up. Children’s mouths change quickly and a pediatric dentist is well prepared to ensure the oral healthcare your child deserves.