Food for thought when choosing a pediatric dentist

    As a parent, it’s your job to choose the top medical services for you family. It’s a huge responsibility! You might be confused about how to get started. There’s a lot of food for thought when you’re choosing a pediatric dentist.

    There is so much information–both good and bad–that you may not even know where to turn. Well-meaning friends offer one opinion, relatives offer another one. Add internet reviews, and you’ll get completely confused on which is the best dentist. It seems that everyone you meet wants to give you advice on which doctor is their favorite!

    The simple fact is that there are a lot of good dentists in every market, but you need to select the best pediatric dentist for your growing family. I’ve outlined important questions to think about as you consider a dentist for your child.

    When should a baby first visit the Dentist?

    You might not even be certain when your baby should make his first dental visit. It’s sooner than you might think, and this often surprises new parents!

    Baby should see the dentist for his first appointment when he’s getting his first tooth. Normally, this happens around at 12 months of age. Those first early visits establish the future dental wellness of your child.

    The pediatric dentist will examine baby’s entire mouth. This will include an examination of gums, those pearly white baby teeth. In addition, she will check for any jaw abnormalities. She will also counsel you, as the parent, on proper dental hygiene of those new baby teeth.

    Last but not least, pediatric dentists will arm you with some survival tactics to coach you through teething. Plus, she can tell you how to wean your baby off his pacifier and bottle and when it’s time to take that step. through tough dental milestones like teething, weaning off a bottle, and taking the baby off the pacifier

    Is the Pediatric Dentist Board certified?

    To become practice pediatrics as a dental specialty, dentists attend extensive training greater than the standard dental accreditations. These highly specialized dentists who have attended at least two years of additional education and training to become official status with the American Board of General Dentistry.

    This training is extensive. The candidates study of the anatomy of children, child psychology, and all about early onset dental problems that children can exhibit at a young age. This gives them hands on knowledge of how to treat these tiny tots with the best of dental care.

    In order to receive the Board-Certified status, a dentist must complete all this extra training plus sit for (and pass) rigorous testing.

    Does the dental staff love children?

    Little girl brushing teeth

    Now that we all agree that baby does need to visit the dentist at a very tender age. Plus, you’ve located a Board-Certified pediatric dental provider. Now, make sure that the dental staff loves children!

    Children are physically uncomfortable during dental exams. Their mouths are tiny, and it feels funny to them to have a stranger poking around their teeth! It can make them squirm with discomfort and cry. But, like any other habit, the more often your baby has a dental visit, the more comfortable she will get with the dentist. Most children become acclimated to dental appointments after just a few visits.

    But let’s be perfectly frank. Not all dentists like working with small children. Because they are wiggly, and they whine, and they might even bite, dentists and assistants can get overwhelmed by the tiny tyrants in the chair.

    Dental staff–from the front office to the dentist–must be compassionate and caring when dealing with pediatric patients. In fact, they must love children! They should be adept at wiping away tears, calming down anxious parents, and even entertaining the children to distract them during the exam. All of these make a more positive experience for the child and lessen her fear of the dentist.

    Are emergency services available?

    As a parent, I can assure you that dental emergencies are likely to happen. From head-first tumbles that can break a tooth to toothaches that leave a child crying during the wee hours of the morning, dental emergencies are no laughing matter.

    Call the pediatric dental office and inquire about the availability of emergency services. This will avoid allowing your child to feel discomfort while waiting for the dental clinic to re-open.

    What scope of work can the Dentist perform?

    Dentist offer a varying range of services. You want to find a pediatric dentist that offers a wide variety of dental care services. This is because as your child becomes familiar with her own dentist, she will become comfortable with her. Children can get confused if they need to visit a new dentist because hers doesn’t offer the full range of care she may need.


    When you’re seeking a pediatric dentist, ask as many questions as you feel you need to ask. Good dental offices don’t mind that. In fact, they appreciate when parents are actively involved. In fact, they prefer for a patient or parent to be up front when asking questions in order to avoid confusion later on.

    Best wishes in finding the best pediatric dentist for your child.

    [su_note note_color=”#efefef”]See also: Are children’s ear infections ever serious?[/su_note]

    Dr. Holly Gregory
    Dr. Holly Gregory
    Dr. Holly Gregory, of Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery and Periodontics, practices in Humble, TX. When she’s not practicing dentistry, she loves to write about how patients can find excellent patient care. Dr. Gregory is a mom who loves to spend time with her children.

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