Picking The Right Dentist For Your Kids

Is your kid afraid of going to the dentist or their pediatrician? That is not uncommon. Dental fears and general fears related to medical appointments are very normal for children. Combining foreign experiences, strangers, and some of the discomfort that can be experienced during a medical visit is a quick recipe for anxiety. In fact, many adults that report dental anxieties in their 20s and 30s can remember when it started as young children. In this article, we want to stress the importance of finding a good family dentist for your children, and give some advice on how to find that dentist. If you live in the Boston area, and are looking for a great family dentist, we would be happy to help! 

Dental X Rays shown to a young teenager

Why Is Finding a Good Pediatric Dentist So Important?

Oral health is built on healthy habits. That means brushing, flossing, and choosing to see the dentist twice per year for preventative treatments and dental exams. Many adults who have great dental habits attribute it to going to a good dentist as a kid. A good family dentist provides the following: 

  • Education: A good dental team teaches your children how to take care of their teeth. From demonstrating flossing and brushing habits, to encouraging them to keep records and track their progress, a key to building good dental habits is learning about them. 
  • Positive Reinforcement: A great dental team encourages your child. One thing many dentists are avoiding is the older method of negatively reinforcement. Making patients (of any age) feel guilty regarding their oral health often causes problems in the long-term. Having a negative relationship with your oral health can make it harder to keep up good habits and make it easier to ignore the dentist as an adult later in life. Alternatively, encouraging kids to take care of their smiles and gently letting them know that they might need to brush or floss more, is an effective way to build lifelong habits. 
  • A Comforting Environment: Anothering thing to consider is the environment of the office. From the receptionist to the dentist, you want every member of the dental team to help the child feel comfortable. One root cause of anxiety is the strangeness of meeting new people and being in a new place. By being friendly, dental teams can overcome initial anxiety and make the dental office a place kids actually enjoy going to. 

What To Look For In A Kid's Dental Office

First and foremost, you need a dentist that treats children. Not every dentist is comfortable working with kids. While some dentists specialize in purely working with children, other offices work primarily with adults, and some offices work with patients of all ages. It is important to understand these distinctions. One of the most important elements of a dental visit is how a dentist will communicate with your child. Dentists that specialize in working with children are friendly, encouraging, and understand how to talk to kids. Some other things to look for include:

  • Play Areas: Anticipation can often become anxiety, especially for kids. And if you are early or the dentist is running behind becuase of they had to help another patient with a dental emergency, it isn’t rare that you might have some time in the waiting area. While adult medical practices often provide magazines and understand that most adults will busy themselves with phones, family dental offices need to consider providing entertainment for kids. Games, and puzzles can help kids relax before an appointment or while their older sibling is seen if you schedule back to back appointments for your kids. 
  • Educational Tools: Again, one of the most important parts of a dental visit for a child is learning more about their teeth and gums. Some offices have information that can help teach kids more. 
  • Kind Staff: Nothing is more important than how kids interact with staff. You want a staff that is encouraging, educational, and most of all fun! You can tell if you child is comfortable with the dentist based on their interaction. 

Learn More About Our Dental Office In Greater Boston

All Pro Dental provides family dental services for patients throughout the Greater Boston area. If you live in the Greater Boston area and are looking for a positive family dental experience for your kids, teens, etc. Please let us know. 

dental instruments

Learn More About Family Dentistry in Boston

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