Kicking, screaming, crying. Begging and even negotiating. Refusing to open their mouths and show off their smiles.

Some kids hate going to the dentist; it’s normal. Unfortunately, skipping appointments could compromise your child’s oral and overall health. The right children’s dentist in Nicholasville can put them at ease.

Not sure how to choose a Nicholasville pediatric dentist? Look for these seven traits to confirm you’ve found the best dentist in town today!

1. Experienced

There are over 69,500 professionals working in the pediatric dentistry industry. The industry has grown over the past decade. Unfortunately, that means that not every professional has years of relevant experience. 

An experienced kid’s dentist will have an easier time ensuring your child’s comfort. They’ll already know how to speak to and interact with your child. 

Their years of industry experience can benefit your child’s oral health. Experienced dentists will have an easier time diagnosing and resolving issues. A general dentist, however, might lack recent experience treating a child’s teeth, gums, or mouth.

Look into each dentist’s credentials. Confirm they’re licensed and graduated from an accredited dental school. Determine where they completed their two years of residency training in dentistry for children. 

Ask questions about their degree. Pediatric dentists can earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Both require a minimum of four years of study. 

Confirm that each dentist is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). If they don’t have the necessary credentials, remove them from your list of options. 

2. Patient

About 36% of people in the US have a fear of dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. Your child could develop dental fear or anxiety if you take them to a general dentist. The cold, sterile environment could make them uncomfortable. 

The best dentist for kids will know how to put your child’s fears at ease. They’ll remain patient, even when your child is acting out or scared.

Some children have a difficult time remaining still during their regular dental cleaning. Others are afraid of the sounds associated with dental offices. Even the sight of the dentist’s equipment could trigger their fears.

Other children ask dozens of questions at a time. These behaviors could become distracting to a dentist who lacks experience treating children.

The best dentist will remain patient to ensure your child receives the care they deserve. They’ll prioritize your child’s comfort and oral health. 

3. Approachable

Your child will likely feel more comfortable around an approachable pediatric dentist. If a dentist isn’t approachable, they could make your child’s dental anxiety worse. As that anxiety grows, your child may start refusing to attend their appointments.

An approachable dentist is easier to talk to. They’ll lessen your child’s dental anxiety.

Look for a dentist with experience treating young patients who have a fear of going to the dentist. They’ll leverage their experience to your child’s benefit. For example, they may offer sedation dentistry options.

4. Engaging

An engaging pediatric dentist will help your child view their oral health in a new way. The dentist can make learning about oral health fun and engaging. As they learn more about their oral health, your child may feel more excited about going to the dentist.

They might want to show off their healthy, pearly whites and discuss how well they followed the dentist’s instructions.

Look for Nicholasville pediatric dentists who can teach your child about their dental hygiene. If they can keep your child engaged, your child may feel more comfortable about future appointments. 

5. Communicative

The best pediatric dentist will have an easy time communicating with your child. Some dentists speak to children as if they’re adults. Unfortunately, your child may have a difficult time understanding a general dentist.

Helping your child learn more about their oral health could encourage them to take better care of their baby teeth. They can learn about preventative care to avoid cavities or gum disease.

The dentist should take the time to talk to your child clearly during appointments. For example, the dentist can tell your child how they can improve their oral health. They can review tips for brushing and flossing to improve your child’s technique.

The best pediatric dentists know how to explain healthy dental habits in a way young children will understand.

6. Flexible

All children have different needs. They also respond to situations differently. Look for dentists who can remain flexible as they treat different patients.

A flexible dentist will adjust their approach based on each child’s needs. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your child is receiving the care they deserve.

If the dentist doesn’t customize treatments between patients, your child could feel uncomfortable and anxious. A flexible dentist will have an easier time helping your child feel welcome. 

Look for clinics that are designed with children in mind. For example, the waiting room could feature fun art on the walls, reading nooks, and toys. Perhaps the staff sends children home with small toys or prizes when they’re well-behaved.

A clinic that’s customized with children in mind will help your child feel comfortable. If it’s cold, white, and sterile, it could make their dental anxiety worse. 

7. Loves Kids

Above all else, look for an experienced pediatric dentist who loves treating children. A dentist who doesn’t specialize in treating kids may not know how to handle them. These dentists may struggle to remain calm around unruly or uncomfortable children. 

The best pediatric dentist in Nicholasville will have a passion for treating children. They’ll make sure your child is cared for and respected.

Consider scheduling a consultation appointment before your child’s regular dental cleaning. They can meet the dentist in person before treatment. You can make sure your child feels comfortable around the dentist first. 

Choose a Nicholasville Children’s Dentist Today

The best pediatric dentist will help put your child at ease. Consider these traits when searching for a children’s dentist in Nicholasville. You can trust them with your child’s oral health and preventative care. 

Want to simplify your search for a Nicholasville pediatric dentist? As a specialized pediatric dental practice, we take the responsibility of caring for children seriously here at Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry. Contact us now to schedule your child’s next appointment.