How to Pick the Best Pediatric Dentist for Your Child
Healthy teeth and great dental hygiene habits that start during childhood can last a lifetime. Beyond brushing, flossing, and a high-quality toothbrush, selecting the best pediatric dentist possible can also help support your child’s oral health from their youngest years through adolescence.
If you were to search “best pediatric dentist near me” online, you will probably find a long list of potential options to sift through. How do you choose the right dentist for your child?
In this guide, we have compiled some traits of great pediatric dental practices to look for. As you’re considering potential providers, keep these points in mind to help you make a more informed decision.
What Do Other Parents Say About a Practice Online?
Online reviews can provide real insights from parents who have taken their children to a specific dental practice in the past. Did the parent or their child enjoy the experience? Did they decide to not return?
When reading reviews, look for common themes. If a number of parents mention the same issue, such as their child being in pain after a procedure or unhelpful staff members, that could be a cause for concern. On the other hand, if there are several positive comments about a certain aspect of the dental office – such as how friendly and helpful the staff is – that could indicate a positive trait about the practice.
It’s also important to keep in mind that one bad review shouldn’t necessarily dissuade you from considering a pediatric dentist. Consider the context of the complaint and whether it’s something that would be a dealbreaker for your family. For example, if a parent didn’t like that their child had to wait 30 minutes to see the dentist, that may have been an isolated example and not a consistent trait of the practice itself.
Oral Care Throughout Your Child’s Entire Development
A great pediatric dentist will offer dental care services that are appropriate for every stage of your child’s development, from infancy through their teenage years. Each stage of childhood will present different oral health needs, and having the same dentist throughout their entire development will ensure consistent care and attention.
For example, baby teeth are more delicate than adult teeth and require their own level of care. Likewise, the molars that come in during adolescence are larger and tougher than baby teeth but may be more prone to cavities due to their location in the back of the mouth. A good pediatric dentist will know how to treat each stage of your child’s teeth accordingly.
A Focus on Comfort and Anxiety-Free Care
The pediatric dentist’s office should be designed with children in mind, from the waiting room and examination rooms to the staff uniforms. A good pediatric dental practice will make an effort to create an environment that is fun and welcoming to children of all ages.
Many children avoid or resist going to the dentist. Whether they have a case of true dentophobia or they simply find the experience uncomfortable, it can prove difficult for many parents to bring their children to their appointments.
Keeping this in mind, an excellent pediatric dentist will focus on providing comfortable and anxiety-free care. They will be patient with your child and take the time to explain everything that they are doing in a manner that is age-appropriate. Additionally, many practices now offer technology such as TVs and headphones in the room so that your child can relax and focus on something they enjoy during a visit.
Prioritizing Preventative Care for Developing Mouths
The best pediatric dentists will always prioritize preventative care. They will work with you to develop a proactive treatment plan that is focused on keeping your child’s mouth clean, healthy, and free of cavities or other similar issues. This may include regular cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and more.
Dental sealants are one example of a preventative measure that can be taken, particularly for molars which are more likely to develop cavities. This thin coating is applied to the chewing surface of the molar and acts as a barrier against bacteria and food particles.
Fluoride treatments are another preventative service that may be recommended, particularly for children who are more prone to cavities. This mineral strengthens teeth and helps fight off decay-causing bacteria.
A pediatric dentist who prioritizes preventative care will also take the time to educate you and your child about the importance of oral hygiene and proper at-home care. They will be available to answer any questions that you or your child may have about taking care of their teeth.
A Caring and Supportive Team
Last but not least, you want to be sure that the team working at the pediatric dental practice is caring and supportive. This includes everything from the front desk staff who make your appointments to the hygienists who clean your child’s teeth.
When you visit a potential practice, take note of how you and your child are treated. Are the staff members friendly and accommodating? Do they make an effort to get to know you and your child? Are they patient with questions? These are all important factors to consider when making your decision.
Get the Best Pediatric Dentistry for Your Child in the NY Capital Region
At Where Smiles Grow, we are committed to providing the best pediatric dental care to children throughout the New York Capital Region. Located in Latham, Delmar, and Schodack, each of our offices strive to provide a welcoming and worry-free environment with helpful staff and a focus on oral health throughout your child’s entire development. Click here to request an appointment at any of our locations today.