The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth becomes visible, or when they celebrate their first birthday, whichever milestone comes first!
Are you gearing up for this special occasion?
Choosing the best dentist for kids can make all the difference.
A great children’s dentistry clinic is well-versed in all aspects of caring for the littlest patients. When you find the right one, you’re well on your way toward establishing a lifetime of healthy habits for your baby.
Unsure how to find the right local team? Today, we’re sharing three tips that can help you narrow your focus, learn more about each provider, and ultimately discover the best dentist for your entire family.
1. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Once you’ve identified a few local children’s dentistry clinics in your area, hop online and read what others are saying about them.
Reputable establishments will have a dedicated place on their websites, online business profile, or social media page where they share reviews, feedback and testimonials from past and current patients. For instance, you can check ours out here.
Online reviews give you a general idea about what to expect with each clinic. How do other parents describe their experience? Do they rave about the staff’s expertise with children or are they less than impressed?
In addition to checking a provider’s web presence, you can also rely on social media to ask questions to your local followers. With tools like Facebook’s “Ask for Recommendations” feature, you can ask friends and family members to weigh in on where they take their children and if there’s a particular provider they’d suggest.
While they shouldn’t be your ultimate deciding factor, reviews can go a long way toward helping you narrow your list of options. Use these to get your list down to about three prospective clinics, and then move on to the next step.
2. Schedule a Consultation
Before you decide on a local pediatric dentist, schedule a consultation to learn more about how their office operates.
Most clinics are more than happy to accommodate this request at no cost. They’ll allow you to tour the office, meet the staff, take a look at their technology, and ask as many questions as you need to.
Understand that while you’re at this consultation, no dental work will be performed. This is solely a time to put a face and place with a name and learn as much as possible about the clinic you’re visiting.
Questions to Ask
The team should be happy to field any inquiries and never make you feel like a burden for asking them.
Not sure how to start? A few of the most common questions that parents ask about their baby’s first dentist visit include:
- What should I expect at my chid’s first dental visit?
- What age should my child begin dental checkups?
- How often should I take my child to the dentist?
- Do you recommend fluoride for my child’s teeth? If so, why?
- Do you have special techniques or approaches that cater to children?
These are just a few of the concerns you might have about your child’s oral health. Be sure to take into account any individual issues you’ve noticed, including matters such as teething, thumb-sucking habits, and more.
Touring the Office
Touring the office is also a great way to see how child-friendly it is.
Are there toys, books, and fun colours on the walls or is the entire office neutral? Does the atmosphere feel relaxed, calm and entertaining or is it stuffy from the first step? Even the waiting room should cater to curious little minds!
While you walk around, take a look at the tools that the pediatric dental team is using. Are they the same size as the ones they use for the adults or are they smaller-scaled? If they look oversized and uncomfortable, they likely are.
If there are other children in the office receiving treatment, note how the staff is responding to their needs. How do they interact with children who are worried or fearful? Do they have steps in place to calm and reassure them?
If you’re uncomfortable somewhere, your child will be also. Take this time to assess the facility and employees, and make sure you’re confident about taking the next step.
3. Attend a Basic Check-Up
After you’ve visited all of your options, you should have enough knowledge and data to make an educated decision on the best kid’s dentistry clinic in your area. The next step is to make an appointment!
Unless your child requires emergency dental services, it’s best to schedule a basic check-up with your top clinic of choice. Most children’s visits will last between 15 and 20 minutes. A few of the actions that your pediatric dentist might perform include:
- Examining your child’s teeth, jaw structure, bite and mouth development
- Cleaning and polishing your child’s teeth
- Treating your child’s teeth with fluoride
- Taking x-rays of your child’s teeth
- Performing preventative treatments, such as fissure sealants
Your dentist will explain every step to you and your child in detail, making each one as special and fun as possible. At our office, we take kids on rides in the chair, ask them to open wide like a tiger, and incorporate instructional toys to help make the experience interactive and exciting!
Find the Best Dentist For Kids in Your Area Today
As a parent, you’re naturally concerned about your child’s oral health. You want to make sure you’re starting this journey the right way by finding the best dentist for kids in your area.
If you’re local to the Coogee, WA area, we’d love to be that resource for you. We are a family dentistry clinic providing a full range of services for kids and adults of all ages.
From general check-ups and cleanings to emergency dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures and more, we do it all. Contact us today to learn more about our office and schedule a consultation.