A visit to the dentist can be quite a scary experience for a child. Strangers in white uniforms, unpleasant environments, and uncertainty of what is going to happen are sure to cause a feeling of unease, to say the least. For that reason, finding a good pediatric dentist is crucial. How do you know a pediatric dentist is good? There are several tell-tale signs that are visible right from entering the dentist’s office and talking to the staff. In this article, we have listed seven characteristics that only true professionals possess.
Children are impatient and they will quickly become bored in a regular waiting room. A sterile atmosphere may cause your child to feel anxious and uncomfortable, especially when it’s their first visit or if they are toddlers. By the time it’s their turn to sit in a dentist’s chair, children may become stressed and impossible to work with. Colorful walls, toys and interesting decorations will distract your child’s mind from the dental work and alleviate some stress. The setting should appeal to children of all ages, and they should feel welcome, rather than intimidated. One parent should be able to attend their child’s appointment as well, which can help calm down a child during the procedure.
Being a pediatric dentist means working with all children aged 1 to 17. That requires the skills of effectively communicating with even the littlest of the little ones. The staff, as well as the dentist, should be able to express their thoughts well, and in a manner that a child can understand. Everyone in the office should be patient, understanding, and able to adapt their vocabulary, making it more kid-friendly. Using big words may intimidate kids or leave them confused and scared, as they don’t know what to expect, or if what the dentist is saying is ‘’good or bad’’.
The job of a dentist is not easy, especially a pediatric one. Everyone can get a degree and work as a dentist, but the results of their work vary significantly. Fixing teeth properly requires years of skill and extensive knowledge. The office should be equipped with the latest technology and a wide range of supplies, and the dentist should be skilled in using all of that. However, the task of a pediatric dentist is not only fixing children’s teeth but also dealing with specific problems such as thumb sucking and bruxism. On top of that, the dentist should be able to answer all of the questions parents or kids may ask, and guide them to good oral hygiene.
Instruments fit for children
It is recommended that a child has their first visit to the dentist before they turn 1. A pediatric dentist will check the development and repair any damage to any child’s teeth. The job of caring for the oral health of children throughout their childhood has its difficulties and requirements. As children are smaller than adults and also vary in height among themselves, the pediatric dentist’s office should be equipped with the right-sized instruments. Working with unfit instruments can be unpleasant or even painful, so a good pediatric dentist will have the tools to help children of any build. Also, the dentist’s chair should be easily accessible to children.
Authoritative, yet gentle
Although pediatric dentist needs to be kind, they also need to be able to maintain a level of authority over children. A good dentist needs to know how to control the situation properly and get your child to cooperate. However, if the dentist loses patience and starts shouting at the little patients, this will only scare children and cause even greater anxiety. Most dentist phobias have roots in childhood and are usually connected with an unpleasant dentist. Because of the traumatic experience at the dentist that they had when they were children, people tend to avoid regular dental appointments later in life. This leads to poorer dental health and even severe fear of the dentist. By choosing an approachable kids dentist, the entire dental experience will be much more positive for your child.
A wide range of services
A good pediatric dentist’s office should have plenty of available services to offer and be able to maintain even the most difficult dental problems. Maybe you’re wondering why is that an important quality for a kids’ dentist? Well, kids are more comfortable when they’re able to visit the same dentist over and over again. Some level of trust has been built between the dentist and the child. Along with that, parents will appreciate it if they can turn to the same dentist for every oral health problem their child might have. Having kids adapt to a whole new dentist and environment, in case they need a specific dental treatment can be quite hard. When the dentist’s office offers a wide range of services, this isn’t an issue.
Patience is a virtue
As said above, patience is one of the most important qualities a good kids’ dentist should possess. Children are easily scared, they don’t understand very well what is asked of them to do, and sometimes they don’t cooperate at all. Good pediatric dentists understand this, and they do their job out of love. They should be able to remain calm and friendly regardless of the circumstances. Even if they’re tired or stressed, they should be able to hide that and finish the dental treatment in a kid-friendly way. Also, the dentist should never shame your child because of the cavities or plaque. If the child is feeling ashamed, they will likely hide their dental problems later in life and avoid dental visits. The dentist should explain to your child how to properly brush their teeth and prevent future problems.
In conclusion, the job of a pediatric dentist is quite demanding, and not many people are up for the task. It requires a strong personality, lots of practice and knowledge, and nerves of steel. Ask around, or search for reviews online, to find a good and affordable dentist before taking your kid for a dental checkup.