Most parents would agree that the health of their children is of the utmost importance. Included in a well-rounded wellness plan for children should be early dental intervention. It has been shown that early dental appointments promote better dental health as children age. Because of this statistic, finding a pediatric dentist that promotes healthy dental habits, provides a welcoming environment, and give parents the information they need to care for their child’s dental health is very important. So, how can parents choose a pediatric dentist that works best for their family? There are many professional qualifications that a pediatric dentist should have, but their bedside manner, attitude, and philosophy should also be taken into consideration. Because this decision is so crucial, let’s go over a few tips that can make this decision easier for parents.
Special Training Required for Pediatric Dentists
The training that is required to be a pediatric dentist is initially the same qualifications needed to become a general dentist for all ages. They are required to complete four years of dental school after completing their bachelor’s degree. However, the further qualifications that are needed to become a pediatric dentist are an additional two or three years of specialized training. This specialized training involves special classes on child psychology and learning how to treat children with special needs. They are taught the subtle differences between children’s teeth and adult teeth. They are also taught more preventative care to thwart future dental issues for those children. Because of this special additional training, pediatric dentists have more knowledge on the needs and dental care of children as well as having more direct experience in treating children. If you are looking for a trained pediatric dentist near you, refer to the ADA’s (American Dental Association) database or give Guilliot Family Dentistry a call!
When finding a pediatric dentist, the environment in which the child is put in when being treated by such professional is important. Having a safe, open, and welcoming space for your child can make all the difference in their treatment. For some children, a dentist that pokes and prods inside their mouth with scary metal tools can be quite intimidating. So, an environment that keeps them calm and happy is one in which they would be inclined to return. From the initial moment they enter the dental facility, children should feel relaxed and open with available books, toys, and/or calming activities. Also, the area in which the child is treated should have aspects to it such as the following:
- Child-sized dental tools
- Character-themed décor
- Kid-friendly TV shows or music
Pediatric Bedside Manner
Pediatric dentists should have a more delicate approach with their patients because of their younger age. They should use child-friendly language when describing each step or procedure that they are doing. Instead of keeping the child afraid of the procedures, a pediatric dentist should involve the patient in every step in order to ease their minds. Establishing that trust with the child patient is key in promoting future dental visits and their attitude at such future appointments.
The pediatric dentist should also have a preventative approach when it comes to treating children. Teaching the patient the importance of brushing, flossing, and general dental health, while also the responsibility of the parents, should also be a very important aspect of the appointments. When the child believes that brushing and flossing as well as going to the dentist are fun and necessary activities, they are more likely to engage in them with eagerness. A preventative approach with children can prevent the likelihood of cavities and other dental issues later in life.
Choosing a pediatric dentist for your child can make the difference in your child’s future dental health. If your child is comfortable with their pediatric dentist, they are more likely to enjoy the experience, soak in the information provided, and be encouraged to return for future preventative appointments. A pediatric dentist that is well-trained, provides an open and welcoming environment, and has excellent bedside manner with a preventative approach is one that all parents should look for.
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist or an adult dentist that is professional, qualified, and respectful, contact the professionals at Guilliot Dentistry!