What to look for when searching for the best pediatric dentist to suit your child.
As a parent, you know that your child’s health, including their oral health, is the most important thing in the world. You also know that you need the right professionals on your team, including a great pediatric dentist, to keep their teeth and gums in good shape.
If you’ve been struggling to find a pediatric dentist in Rochester, NY, by just searching for “best pediatric dentist for my child” or “pediatric dentist near me,” keep reading. Listed below are some tips that can streamline your search and help you find someone you can trust.
Why does kids’ dental care matter?
Some people assume that dentistry for kids isn’t that big of a deal. After all, aren’t they just going to lose those baby teeth anyway? It’s true that kids typically lose all of their baby teeth by about age 12. This doesn’t mean that you should wait until their adult teeth grow in to start taking them to the dentist, though. Remember, the baby teeth hold space for their permanent teeth.
Taking care of baby teeth now (which includes regular dentist visits) also helps to set kids up for good oral health and straighter, more even teeth later. They’ll start learning healthy habits at an early age and will know how to prevent cavities from forming.
When they start getting cleanings and checkups at a young age, kids also learn that the dentist’s office is not a scary place. This can reduce their chances of developing dental anxiety later.
How do I find the best pediatric dentist for my child?
It can be frustrating trying to find the best pediatric dentist in your area. Don’t give up on your search, though!
Here are some factors to consider to find the right person to take care of your child’s teeth.
Whether you get a list of potential candidates from an online search or suggestions from friends and family, start by reviewing each person’s credentials. What makes them qualified to work with your child?
A pediatric dentist must first earn either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Then, they must complete a two-year residency where they learn specific skills related to caring for children’s teeth and gums.
Only take your child to a certified pediatric dentist. This ensures they’ll be working with someone who has trained and completed additional schooling to treat kids and give them the special attention they need and deserve.
In addition to learning about their credentials, it’s a good idea to find out how long each dentist has been practicing.
When did they first receive their degree and license? How long have they been working with children, specifically?
You don’t necessarily have to take your child to the dentist who’s been working the longest; however, experience does matter.
The more time someone has spent practicing pediatric dentistry, the more likely they are to be an expert. They’ll know what warning signs to look for when examining your child’s teeth. They’ll also know what kinds of recommendations to make to help them avoid cavities and other oral health issues long term.
Consider each dentist’s expertise, too. Yes, they should be pediatric dentists, but what else do they bring to the table?
Do they specialize in anything specific? Do they have expertise working with specific groups of children or handling complex cases?
The more experience and expertise a dentist has, the better the chances are that your child will have a successful, stress-free visit.
Kid Connection Success
Speaking of successful, stress-free visits, kid connection success is another factor to think about when you’re trying to choose a good pediatric dentist for your child.
How well does the dentist seem to connect to your child? Do they have a positive attitude and a good bedside manner? Are they fun and upbeat? Do they explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it? These are some indicators that the dentist is a good fit for your child. If they seem to have a connection, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to bring your child back in the future and build a solid, ongoing relationship.
How does the office seem? Is the atmosphere or aura positive, uplifting, and kid-friendly? Are there toys, kids’ books, puzzles, and other activities that will keep your child engaged and free from boredom?
Remember, these little details can make a big difference. If you take your child to a regular dentist and there’s nothing there for them except some old toys in the corner, it doesn’t send the message that they’re welcome, does it?
Attitude on the Phone
Take note of your phone experience before you make a final decision about a dentist. You can usually tell from your first phone conversation with a dentist’s office whether or not your child’s visit will be a good one.
If you make a phone call to schedule an appointment and get put on hold for 15 minutes, you’re probably not going to have a very positive opinion of the dentist and their team, are you? The same goes for offices where receptionists are very abrupt or don’t seem willing to help. A warm, welcoming first experience with a team member who is keen to accommodate your schedule and find times that will suit your child, shows concern and care from outset—and you know that approach starts at the top.
If possible, find out if you can go to the dentist’s office ahead of time and check it out before you bring our child there for an actual cleaning and exam. This gives you a chance to check out the environment and talk to the team.
When you’re meeting with the dentist, the hygienist, and the dental assistants or front desk staff, pay attention to how they interact with each other. Does there seem to be a positive connection between team members? Do they communicate clearly and professionally? Do they seem committed to providing your child with a good experience?
Work with a Great Dentist for Children Today
Your search for “best pediatric dentist for my child” doesn’t have to be a long or complicated one. Follow these steps and you’ll have no trouble finding a dentist who has the training and experience your child needs.
If you’re located in or around the Rochester area and want to partner with a dentist who checks all of the boxes mentioned above, contact Dr. Judith Shea today. Use our online form to request a visit and we’ll get back to you right away.