There are so many dentists to choose from, you wonder … which dentist is right for my child?
This is a really good question. And I want to help you find the right dentist for you and your child.
For the little ones, it is recommended that they have their first visit when their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday.
If you are taking your child to the dentist when they are young, it is best to stick with a pediatric dentist.
What is a pediatric dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a specialist in dentistry for kids and patients with special needs. A pediatric dentist has had additional training after dental school and may even be board certified. Which means they know their stuff.
In addition, they can perform treatment in a hospital setting and are verse in oral diseases and conditions in children.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A pediatric dentist is a specialist in dentistry for kids and patients with special needs.” quote=”A pediatric dentist is a specialist in dentistry for kids and patients with special needs.”]
Pediatric dentist set up their practice so that it’s child-friendly and inviting for young children. I have seen some really fun setups from a western theme to under the sea theme which makes it a fun place to visit for the first time.
It is really exciting for your little one and they will enjoy it much more than these modern general dentist office.
Trying to find a pediatric dentist?
First, you can start by going to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) website. The AAPD website is a nice hub where you can find a great deal of information about your child’s teeth. In addition, dentists can learn about meetings and new changes in the field.
If you go here, you can search for a pediatric dentist in your area using the search box on the left. All you need to do is put in your zip code and the radius that you would like to travel to see the dentist.
From there you will get a list of the pediatric dentist by location. There will be the name, address, phone number and website (if they have one).
You can do an advanced search where you will be able to search by last name, city, state, zip code and country.
Another alternative to beginning the search for a pediatric dentist is Google. My trusted way of finding just about anything is with Google.
If you turn on your location on and search for a “pediatric dentist near me“, you should find some of the same names on the AAPD website.
In addition, you will see ratings. Ratings will help you gauge if this is somewhere you would like to go.
Remember this about ratings …
Remember, people are more likely to leave bad reviews than good reviews. Keep in mind, you can’t please everyone.
Even if the office was perfect and did everything right, there is still going to be someone that complains about something. Remember to take this into consideration when looking at the reviews.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You can’t please everyone.” quote=”You can’t please everyone.”]
Also, you don’t want to see only 5-star reviews. Usually, this is because they probably had all of their family members or friends help them out with writing reviews so that they would look legit on Google.
It’s ok to have a few not so perfect ratings. This shows that they are real and they have real people that go there.
Going to a family or general dentist
So what if you don’t have a pediatric dentist nearby? There is an option to have your child seen by a family or general dentist. This is a dentist that sees all ages, including kids and adults.
Be careful. Just because a dentist tells you that they start seeing kids at age 6 doesn’t mean you should wait until age six. This is just the dentist preference.
There is a lot that can happen from newborn to age 6 that can be prevented if caught early. If your dentist is not comfortable with seeing young kids, find a pediatric dentist or a general dentist that is comfortable seeing young kids.
I know that it is convenient to have the entire family go to one dentist and make appointments for everyone for the same day and time. But don’t make your little one wait because your dentist has a preference for what age they like to start seeing children in their office.
Here are a few other things to consider when finding the best dentist for your child.
I get it. You want to utilize your benefits and take advantage of the coverage you have been paying for every month.
You can check to see what pediatric dentist are in your area that accepts your insurance by going on your insurance website. Or by calling your insurance to find out what pediatric dentist is in-network in your area.
Once you have found a few dentists, distance usually is a determining factor.
Remember to consider the distance of the dentist office from home, work, and your child’s school.
Going to the dentist
Once you have finally decided on a dentist from your search, it is time to give them a try. Make the call to schedule an appointment.
Ultimately you want to be in a place that you and your child are comfortable. I understand that going to the dentist is not the most comfortable experience for some.
However, you should not be made to feel like an inconvenience or that you are insignificant when you see the dentist.
Be sure to ask the dentist questions and voice any concerns that you may have for your child. I’m sure that your little will have a great visit.
Jocelyn McDonald says
My family and I just moved into a new area, and we’re looking for a dentist we can start visiting. Your article had some great tips for choosing a dentist for a child, and I liked how you said to be wary of sites with all 5 star reviews, as this could just be friends and family of the clinic. Thanks for the help; we’ll keep this in mind when choosing a doctor for my daughter, husband, and I.