Taking a young child to a dentist can be very scary for both the parent and the child. Thus, understanding what to expect can help ease any anxiety before going to the office. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that children have their first oral checkup by the age of one. If family history indicates a risk of early cavities or other oral issues, even earlier visits may be necessary. Typically, the first appointment is used to check the hygiene of the teeth and determine how well they are developing. When choosing a pediatric dentist, there are a variety of qualities to keep in mind to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the experience.

Gentle and Attentive to the Child

When choosing a dental practice, look for a staff that has a reputation for being kind and gentle toward young kids. A gentle staff with a great deal of experience in handling children will be more likely to react in a productive manner if a child should become frightened or throw a tantrum. A child-friendly staff will also create a more calming, welcoming atmosphere that may assuage children’s fears before an emotional outburst can occur.

Response to Parental Concerns

Another quality of a good dental practice is a proper response to parental concerns. Choose a practitioner who will be willing to take the time to answer and address all questions and concerns, no matter how insignificant they may seem to be. Before the appointment, have a list of questions prepared to ensure that all concerns are addressed.

Child-Centered Atmosphere

The sign of a good pediatric dental practice is a focus on the needs of the young patients. Kids are often very hesitant and resistant to their first dental visit. They often need some additional support during a time of fear. Using a practice that focuses on what young patients need to get through the visit is crucial. An office that allows parents to sit with their son or daughter during the appointment should be at the top of the list.

A Vested Interest in Child’s Oral Health

A dental professional will have a genuine concern for the oral health of children. This includes speaking to the parents in detail about the development of the teeth and bite. The dentist should also go into detail about proper oral hygiene habits. For example, avoiding the use of pacifiers and avoiding thumb sucking.

A kid’s first visit to the dentist can be very scary and unnerving for everyone involved. However, it can be a great experience as long as the right practice is chosen. To find the best practice, get referrals from friends and relatives for recommendations on the office they have used. It may be possible to visit different practices to find out how they operate and determine which is best for the needs of the family.