Did you know that based on a survey of 583 children, 12 percent of the 76 percent who had been to a dentist reported feeling afraid? Fear of the family dentist doesn’t just end in childhood.
It can linger on into adulthood, making people more reluctant to get the treatment they need until they’re in massive amounts of pain.
If children don’t feel threatened by their pediatric dentist, it’s far easier to attend appointments on time and teach your child about dental hygiene. Even more importantly, a strong rapport with the dentist means that scheduling dentist appointments as an adult don’t seem like such a negative thing.
With this in mind, read on for our top six tips on how to find a kid-friendly dentist today!
1. Word-of-Mouth and Online Referrals
Start by asking parents that have children whether they have any pediatric dentists in their area that you recommend. This can be friends, family, and even colleagues with children–just make sure that you value their opinions.
Next, start checking up on the dentists that they recommend as well as others by running a basic Google search for your area. Before you even click on the links to their websites, take a look at the reviews on their Google Business page.
Make sure that the majority of the reviews are positive–a majority of negative reviews is a red flag. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even a reputable dental office will have some negative reviews. In those cases, see how they responded to the reviews and tried to rectify the situation.
2. Look for Experience
Next, it’s important that the dentist you choose has years of experience under her or his belt. Experienced dentists not only know how to build rapport with children, but they typically have smooth processes in place for scheduling and billing.
Make sure that the dentist you choose has specialized in pediatric dentistry, as general dentists who recently switched to pediatrics may still not be comfortable working with children.
You can find this information in the “about” section of websites, but having an introductory consultation with the dentist and asking them in person is also an option.
3. Visit the Office
Even if a dentist is experienced, you need to take time to visit the office before you schedule the first appointment. First, this can tell you how far the office is from your child’s school or your home as well as the level of traffic. Since you’ll be making appointments at this dentist for years, it’s important that the location is convenient for you.
Next, take a look at the environment once you get inside. Does it seem kid friendly with toys, bright colors, and coloring books to keep them occupied? Does it look clean and tidied frequently?
Overall, the waiting area should make you feel welcomed and keep your children engaged so that they don’t get bored while waiting for their appointment.
4. Consider the Staff
Keep in mind that it’s not just the dentist you and your child you’ll be interacting with. You’ll spend more time scheduling appointments with the front staff as well as interacting with dental assistants. This means that you need to feel comfortable with them.
Pay attention to how they treat you–is the majority of the staff friendly, professional, and welcoming? Are they willing and able to answer many of your questions?
5. Prevention as Priority
When your child is first starting going to the dentist when their teeth are going in, your dentist should make prevention one of their priorities. At this time, your child should be learning about how to brush their teeth effectively and how often to brush.
The dentist should also present this information in a fun and palatable way for children so that they’re willing and able to take charge of their dental hygiene.
This also includes regular fluoride treatments to keep cavities at bay as well as a sealant. Sealant helps protect your child’s tooth enamel, protecting them from early tooth decay.
6. Easy Appointment Scheduling
Beyond being easy to travel to, it’s also important that the dentist you choose makes it easy to schedule appointments. Consider the method that’s easiest for you, whether that be through a phone call, text, email, or online form. Next, see what kind of appointment scheduling that your dentist offers.
This is important because if you don’t like speaking on the phone, you’ll be more reluctant to schedule routine checkups if that’s all your dentist offices. Furthermore, you may feel as if only offering a form online doesn’t give you that personal touch.
Next, make sure that the office has flexible hours so that you can take your child after they’re done with school or when you’re home from work. Ensure that the office isn’t so busy that you’re unable to schedule checkups at the times that are convenient for you.
Find a Kid-Friendly Dentist Today
Not only do kid-friendly dentists help keep your child calm and at ease, but they’re also setting your child up for success in the future. This is because when it comes to choosing a dentist, your children won’t have negative memories associated with them. This means that they’ll be more willing to continue with good dental hygiene even as adults.
Next, hiring a dentist that’s near you and easy to schedule will make your life easier. This is because you won’t have to fight with traffic or inconvenient times that force you to take your child out of school early or for you to use up your lunch break.
With up-to-date technology and years of experience, we’re able to serve patients of all ages in a comfortable setting. Contact us today to get started!