Almost as soon as that first baby tooth pokes its way through your child’s gum line, you may start teaching your child about good dental hygiene. You may encourage your child to brush his teeth two or three times a day, to floss regularly and to take other steps to promote good dental hygiene. At some point, it may have crossed your mind that your little one could stand to have his teeth professionally cleaned. Many pediatric dentists will suggest that you begin bringing your child in for a cleaning as early as three or four, and some may want to see your kids younger than this. As a general rule of thumb, they should be able to lay in the chair on their own without assistance in order to receive a dental cleaning.
After you have decided to schedule your child’s first appointment with the dentist, you are tasked with the important decision of finding the best pediatric dentist in town. Some parents will simply contact their own dentist for the appointment, but others want to use a pediatric dental office that specializes in oral hygiene for kids. Here are a few things to look for as you search for a great pediatric dentist in your area.
On Your Dental Plan: Many dental services are not cheap, so it may be best to gather together a list of pediatric dentists through your dental insurance provider. Many providers have an online feature that allows you to search for approved providers by zip code or within a certain radius of a specific address. You can use this list to refine your search based on other criteria.
Location: Location may not be the most important thing on many parents’ minds, but it actually is rather important in many situations. After all, if you work, you may want to find a dental service with an office close to where your child’s preschool is or close to your house. After all, you don’t want to drive back and forth across town when taking your child to the dentist. Even parents who stay at home with their little ones will enjoy the convenience of choosing a dental provider with an office nearby.
Great Reviews: Based on the two above criteria, you may have already narrowed your list of pediatric dentists down considerably. Now, take a moment to read different consumer reviews about the dentists online. No dentist will have all glowing reviews, but you should consider looking for trends in what the reviewers are saying. When several people are saying the same thing, it may be reasonable to expect that you would have a similar experience yourself.
Fun, Relaxing Atmosphere: Many pediatric dentists will post pictures of their facility on their website. Pay attention to the overall feeling of the décor. Is it fun and caters to a child’s whimsy, or is it rather stuffy and too conservative to appeal to your child? This is a place where you want your child to feel relaxed, so the décor is a major consideration.
Range of Services: Last but not least, review the services offered by the pediatric dentist. Some dentists offer basic hygiene services, x-rays and fillings. Others, however, may have incorporated cosmetic dentistry and even orthodontic services into their list of services. A young child may not need these more elaborate services now, but you may enjoy working with a full-service office over the years as your child gets older and his needs for dental care change.
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