Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems among children and young adults ages 6 to 19. This fact is particularly staggering when you consider that cavities are absolutely preventable! By promoting proper oral hygiene and choosing among the great dentists for kids in your area, you can prevent your child from getting cavities.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about finding a dentist for your child.

Start Early

Did you know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children have their first dentist appointment before their first birthday?

It’s true! Good oral hygiene starts early. The sooner a child has regular visits to the dentist, the sooner they can become comfortable and less afraid.

The first few appointments will be simple. The dentist is looking for healthy gums and any teeth that might be coming in. The dentist will show you how you can clean your baby’s mouth and what to look for.

You can use these early dental appointments to ask any questions that you may have. After the first appointment, you should schedule regular visits every 6 months.

Dentists for Kids

Pediatric dentistry is very different from adult dentistry. Therefore, when picking the right dentist for your child, find someone that has experience working with children.

Pediatric dentists have different training and experience that allows them to better serve a younger population. They learn how to work well with children based on the principles of child psychology.

Here are a few guidelines when picking out the best dentist for your child.

Choose Comfort

You should aim to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with and that is patient and caring towards your child. They should have a welcoming demeanor.

Your child may feel nervous at first, but a good pediatric dentist can help ease the anxiety of visiting the dentist.

As a parent, you should also feel comfortable with the dentist. Do they explain things to you in a clear way? Are they educational without being judgemental? These are the types of questions you should ask when meeting with pediatric dentists.

Prioritize Convenience

As a parent, chances are you have a busy schedule. The last thing you want to do is add a dental appointment an hour away from your home and your child’s school.

When you start to research pediatric dentists in your area, start local. Find out their hours of operation to confirm you could make appointments at a time that works for you and your child. You want to minimize any missed school for them and potentially missed work for you.

Take a Tour

Many pediatric dental offices will let you and your child take a tour before the appointment. You can assess whether the environment seems friendly and inviting.

Are there pictures on the wall? Toys in the waiting room? Can you tell that the environment is kid-friendly? Take a good look at the space when you take the tour before you confirm the appointment.

Visiting the office beforehand can also help your child become familiar with the surroundings so that their appointments are not so scary.

Confirm Dental Insurance

Before making an appointment for your child’s dental visit, check that you have dental insurance. This will help make the appointment go smoothly and be more affordable for you.

If you have private health insurance through your employer you can contact the insurance company to ask about dental coverage. You may also have a representative at work that can tell you more about the health insurance policy and whether dental care is covered for your child.

If you do not have private insurance you may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. These services can help pay for essential dental care for you and your child. If you are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the cost of dental care may be free or drastically reduced.

If you are worried about paying for your child’s dental visits, ask the office about potential payment plans. Some practices will allow you to pay smaller installments rather than paying the cost all upfront.

You can also ask for a list of prices for each service. That way you can compare offices if you are deciding between a few pediatric dentists.

Don’t let cost get in the way of securing good health and dental care for your child.

Ask For Recommendations

If you are a part of a parent’s group or local online forum, ask for pediatric dentist recommendations. You may also be able to find reviews online before you make an appointment.

Family, friends, and neighbors can be a great resource in this department, so take advantage of it!

Ask For Their Opinion

As soon as your child can communicate his or her feelings, you can ask them how they feel about the dentist. You can take them on the tour or schedule a consultation and then ask if they liked visiting the doctor.

While going to the dentist may not be something they love doing, they could at least express whether the dentist was nice to them and gentle when working with their teeth.

Be A Good Example

One of the best things you can do to help your little one be more comfortable with dental appointments is to talk about your own.

If you visit the dentist regularly, talk about it. And on top of that, show them your good brushing and flossing habits to encourage them to follow.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Child

A child’s oral health is just as important as their physical or mental health. Proper oral hygiene can prevent cavities and gum disease. If your child establishes good habits when they’re young, they will carry those habits through life.

When it comes to dentists for kids, find someone that you trust, and that makes you and your child feel comfortable. Make sure they have experience working with kids.

If you are looking for a great pediatric dentist in Nicholasville or the surrounding area, contact us today.