Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent conditions among children in the United States. In the most recent study years (2015-2016), just over 43 percent of U.S. children age 2 and up had cavities. This statistic included 13 percent with untreated cavities! This can be detrimental to your child’s ability to learn, it can result in significant time away from the classroom due to toothaches and dental visits, and ultimately it can be very harmful to their overall well being and health.
With that said, not every child gets cavities and your kids are NOT destined to have them, but you must be willing to take the necessary preventative steps. The first of these steps is to select the right dentist for your child. Below are our top 5 steps to finding that right dentist.
Step 1: Certificate and Qualification
While researching a dentist for your child, make sure the dentist holds their degree from an accredited institute. You can visit the American Dental Education Association to see a list of the top dental educational institutions in the United States and Canada.
Step 2: Check for a Government Approved the License
Before finalizing a dentist for your kids, make sure the provider has a license to practice in your geographical area. Moreover, the pediatric dental provider must be approved by the state board. Usually, dentists will hang their certification and license on a visible wall in their waiting area. If you do not see it, then it is important to ask about it.
Step 3: Behavioral Management Skills
Some children have difficulty communicating, due to their young age or the child may be very shy. Therefore, it is important to look for a dentist who has strong pediatric communication skills and has a considerable amount of patience. Dentists who greet kids with a warm smile, make small talk about child relevant topics, and make the kids feel at ease, are then able to perform the check-up accurately and on a positive note.
Step 4: Check Online Reviews
Consumer reviews are a great way to get a more realistic picture of how well perceived a dentist or dental practice is in the eyes of the community. Reviews will provide you information about both good and bad dental visits experienced by other people in the community. It will give you a holistic view and allow you to make a more informed decision.
Step 5: Ask Your Children
After you select a pediatric dental provider, that doesn’t mean you have to stay with them. It is important to ask your children how they liked the dentist and how they felt during the exam. The goal is to find a dentist your children will happily visit on a routine basis.
While an at-home regimen is just as important, the first step to maintaining good dental health for your child is selecting the right pediatric dental provider. Once you have found a dentist, the provider can then help you and your children structure a daily routine together that fits your child’s needs best. If you have any questions about our pediatric dental services and how we can help your children obtain optimal oral health, be sure to give us a call. We’d love to meet them!