Your baby will get their first tooth between six months and one year old. Around that time, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling your baby’s first dentist visit. Seeing the dentist can ensure your baby’s tooth development is on track and that their smile remains free of decay.
As your child grows up, dental visits should remain an essential part of their oral care, along with daily brushing and flossing at home. Getting your child used to the dentist early can help reduce dental anxiety and prevent tooth decay as they shed their baby teeth and get their permanent ones in.
Seeing the right dentist can make all the difference for your child’s comfort and oral care. But when finding the best dentist for your kids, what should you look for? Here are six tips for choosing the best pediatric dentist in Asheville.
First, How Can You Find a Good Dentist?
Start by asking people you know about their experiences with their child’s dentist. If other parents can’t give you recommendations, you can always research online and follow up with the practice to form your own opinions. Online reviews can also help you find a practice with a good reputation in pediatric dentistry.
- Ask About Their Experience
Ask the dentist in question how many of their patients are the same age as your child. Whether you are looking for a new dentist for your infant, toddler, or third-grader, it’s important to know that the dentist has experience providing oral care for children the same age as your kids. If the dentist tells you they don’t normally see a particular age bracket, such as infants or older children, you may want to keep looking for a dentist who has the experience you need to feel confident about your child’s oral care.
2. Confirm What Services They Offer
The dentist you choose for your child should offer a complete range of services so you can get most of your child’s needs taken care of at one dental practice. Of course, if you need to have your child evaluated for orthodontics or jaw surgery, you would need to see another professional with additional training, qualifications, and experience. However, your pediatric dentist in Asheville should provide a complete range of general dentistry services, including exams, cleanings, dental restorations such as fillings, mouthguards, and preventative treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride applications.
3. Evaluate Their Approach to Oral Care
Since children are susceptible to cavities, prevention is the best treatment when it comes to their oral care. An experienced pediatric dentist should provide a preventative approach to your child’s dental care, from highlighting the importance of their bi-annual checkups and cleanings to reviewing your home fluoride usage and your child’s diet. Their focus should remain on keeping your child’s teeth healthy by preventing tooth decay rather than addressing these factors after a cavity has already occurred.
4. Pick a Dentist With Positive Behavioral Management Techniques
Even children who don’t experience dental anxiety can be challenging to manage at the dentist. You need a pediatric dentist who uses positive reinforcement to help your little one feel as comfortable as possible during the appointment. The hygienists, receptionists, and dentists at the practice should treat your child with respect and use age-appropriate language and clear communication when working with them. You can always speak to the dental practice and ask what their policy is when dealing with uncomfortable or frightened children at the office and make note of their answer.
5. Check Their Hours and Location
Although this may not initially seem like the most important consideration when choosing the best pediatric dentist for your child, it’s essential to check the dental office’s hours and location. If either are not convenient for you, you won’t be as likely to keep your appointments. The same goes for whether the practice takes your insurance. With kids, it’s also a good idea to find out if the dentist you’re considering offers emergency appointments and if you can reach them after-hours for any emergency dental needs your children may have.
6. Schedule an Initial Consultation
Once you’ve done your research and have chosen a dentist or two to go and visit, book an initial consultation for your child. Visiting the dental practices gives you the opportunity to evaluate the safety and cleanliness of the office as well as the demeanor of the staff and dentists. Look for a dentist that takes the time to get to know you and your child, focuses on preventative care, and makes your child comfortable during the appointment. The dentist should also answer your questions and those of your child in an age-appropriate manner.
What’s the Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Regular Dentist?
Many regular dentists can certainly work with your children to provide them with oral care. However, a pediatric dentist has extra training and education that help them provide exceptional services to your little one. They may also be board-certified as a pediatric dentist.
A pediatric dentist in Asheville can help make your child be as comfortable as possible during their appointment and will use specialized instruments for their smaller smiles. However, as your child gets older, they will need to transfer to another dentist to continue receiving their care, which wouldn’t be the case with a family dentist.
Which professional you choose really depends on the experience of the dentists, you and your child’s comfort level, and how confident you feel in the services they provide. Both family and pediatric dentists can support the oral health of your child for a healthy smile.
Saunders DDS Sees Children of All Ages
Saunders DDS is your local dentist in Asheville. We see patients of all ages to provide general and preventative services for their oral care, including children. Contact us to request an appointment today at (828) 277-6060 or use our contact form online to request an appointment date and time. We look forward to helping you and your family with all your oral care needs in Asheville!
If you’re in search of the most reputable pediatric dentist in Asheville, Contact us at (828) 277-6060 now to schedule an appointment today!