You might think that because children loose their baby teeth, it is not that important for them to develop good dental hygiene until their permanent teeth begin to come in. However, research shows that if your children do not develop good habits of oral hygiene from an early age, the lack of care for their teeth can cause problems that manifest during their teenage years. Partnering with a dentist that your children trust is an important part of helping your children to develop good oral hygiene.
Why a Pediatric Dentist?
As the name implies, a pediatric dentist specializes in working with children. Thus, if you take your children to a pediatric dentist, you will have to find a separate dentist for yourself. This may be inconvenient; however, if your children do not like going to the dentist, or develop a distaste for or fear of going to the dentist, they may develop an aversion to taking care of their teeth, which can cause problems later in life.
What to Expect from a Pediatric Dentist?
If you have more than one pediatric dentist in your area, you should feel free to check out a few different pediatric offices to find one that you think will work for your children. When you look into a pediatric dentist, you should look for the following:
1. Start by analyzing the waiting area. Look for magazines, books, toys, and a play area that are all designed to keep children entertained while they wait for their appointment. Children are not known for their talent of patiently waiting for anything, so making sure they are entertained will help to make sure that you are not chasing them all over the office.
2. Watch how the staff interact with your children. Everyone from the receptionist to the hygienist to the dentist should be trained in how to work with children. Moreover, they should actually like children. The interpersonal relationships that your child develops at their dental appointments will play a big role in helping them to develop good oral hygiene, so if you don't like how the staff relates to your children, that may be reason enough to look elsewhere.
3. When you go back to the examination area, make sure that the area is set up with the needs of children in mind. For example, you should see TV screens set up so that your child can watch a show while the hygienist and dentist complete their work. Some offices may have nitrous oxide in place so that their child has the option of taking the gas during particularly stressful or painful parts of the exam or during a dental procedure.
In short, every component of the pediatric dentist's office should be designed to put children at ease so that they can tolerate if not enjoy their visit. Make choosing your child's dentist a conscious, analytical process so that you end up with a partner you can trust so that you children develop good habits that ensure healthy teeth for years to come. For more information, contact a specialist, such as Richard L. Myers, DDS.