According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should have their first visit to the dentist by age one. Why? Because even the first tooth can have cavities and it’s important to focus on prevention and oral health right from the start. But how do you choose the right dentist? Here are some factors to consider:
Not all dentists are pediatric dentists. A pediatric dentist is similar to a pediatrician in that they specialize in kids and kids alone. In fact, pediatric dentists spend two additional years getting training in the unique needs of children.
Your dentist should be “kid friendly.” This seems obvious, but it’s so important that your dentist takes real joy in being around kids. Your child can sense when a dentist really cares about them and is interested in learning more about them.
The office should be fun and engaging. As much as possible, you want your child to look forward to going to the dentist. The office experience can make a huge difference because kids will be more comfortable and relaxed for dental visits.
Your dentist should be available 24/7. Goodness forbid, you never know when your child might have a dental emergency. Find a dentist who is on-call at all hours, has surgical capabilities, and has hospital privileges in case you ever need them.
You should like the dentist personally. A good pediatric dentist is like a part of your family from your child’s birth until they reach adulthood. You should feel deep trust and connection with your dentist, knowing you’re always in safe hands.
Choosing the right dentist can lead to a more gentle and peaceful experience for both you and your child. By establishing a bond with your dentist, your child will more quickly and easily adopt positive oral hygiene and habits. On your end, you’ll have the professional you need for all of your child’s developmental milestones.