Few issues are as important to early childhood health as making sure their dental issues are addressed. Many people prefer to work with a kids dentist, someone who specializes in dealing with the problems that children face. When you go to a pediatric dentist practice, it's a good idea to develop a mental checklist of what you should be looking for. Here are 5 items that ought to be on your checklist.
Show and Tell
Kids struggle to feel trust in new situations, and you shouldn't assume your child will instantly trust the dentist just because they're an authority figure. A good practitioner understands the importance of using models to show children what will be done. Likewise, they work hard to tell kids in simple terms how procedures will go. Not only does all this develop trust, but it provides dental education that children will carry with them into adulthood.
Many practices that treat both adults and kids fail to accommodate their younger patients. While it certainly streamlines the process to only use one set of equipment, it's worth noting that half the stuff in a dentist's office already looks like it came out of a slasher film. Having equipment that towers over children only serves to intimidate them further. If all the equipment looks right-sized for you, then it's probably too big for your little one.
Providing a kid-friendly space is important. While a pediatric dentist doesn't have to maintain an office that looks like a preschool, they should make some effort to make the area child-friendly. That means using brighter colors and incorporating fun pictures, models, and toys. Some practices also use kid's cartoon videos to provide a degree of distraction while work is performed.
A Capable Hygienist
It's easy to focus on the dentist at a practice, but dental hygiene is arguably even more important. Meet with the hygienist and get a feel for how they interact with your child. They should immediately talk with a kid about basic skills, such as how to brush their teeth. Remember, the goal is to form good habits that'll last a lifetime and prevent bigger problems down the road.
Links to Specialists
It's not unusual for a child to need to see specialists. This is particularly the case when it comes to visiting an orthodontist for things like braces and aligners. When you consult with a kids dentist for the first time, ask them which specialists they send their patients to.