Before you get carried away with that title, no, this article does not provide you with a list of dentists across the United States and catalogue them according to how “good” we perceive them to be. That titular reference to the latest J.K. Rowling work is just for puns and funs, but there are reasons why it is important for parents to do homework up front to find the right dentist for their child. There needs to be a greater investment in this on the parts of some parents than there need be for others, but the reason for that is that many children are afraid of the dentist in their earliest years whereas many other children have virtually no issue with a visit to the dentist’s office. There are several ways to look at this.
When It Comes to Choosing
Now, you might start off with a pediatric dentist for your child, but many parents do not. It should be said first that pediatric dentists in particular are where you should take your child first because they invest two extra years to receive the requisite training that specializes in the dental care of infants, children, and the moody teeth of teens. Their extra training is also geared toward ensuring that children are not off-put by the setting or by what the dentist is doing. In other words, they’re trained to do a better job of helping children not be afraid to visit them. Regardless of whether or not you opt for the pediatric dentist in the first place, though, there is some fundamental information you can acquire and use to figure out which dentist is the right fit for you and your child.
Information to Determine the Right Dentist
- Most fundamentally, you should ask a dentist how much experience he or she has with children.
- Find out how accommodating the office is for children. You may think those pediatric offices look cheesy, but now that you’re a parent, you’ve probably been reminded just how un-cheesy your child finds such things. The kid should be afforded the luxury of being able to color or play with an abacus or something, and the rooms should be inviting for children.
- Gauge the dentist whom you’re considering based on his or her presentation with children. You’ll want to know as early as possible just how well the dentist relates to children and how well he or she creates a comfort zone for them.
- A big concern for many parents is whether or not the dentist allows parents to be present during the dental procedures. Not every dentist does, and when it’s your child’s mouth we’re talking about, you’ll probably prefer to be sitting right on top of the dentist’s shoulders the entire time.
Indicators of a Good Dentist for Your Child
Your child should be in not just good hands but comforting hands, and there are ways to discern whether or not a dentist is, in fact, that person. For example, you’ll want to know if the dentist you’ve selected is good with icebreakers with children at the start of an exam. How they relate to children is a completely different matter. They may do well to put children at ease in the foyer, but it’s during the checkup itself that your child is going to need that charm the most. The dentist has to begin procedures delicately for some children, and if you think that may be your child, icebreakers are a great indicator for which to be on the lookout. Do they just jump right into the exam or do they have some quirky, playful way of making the child feel as though he or she is participating?
You’ll also want to be on the lookout for positive reinforcement. Getting through any ordeal is always easier with a steady flow of positive reinforcement to bolster one’s own self-confidence in all actions and decisions, so the child will likely benefit greatly if the dentist is good at finding positive things to say about your child. Ultimately, though, if a dentist can’t pull that off, you should’ve noticed early on and reported him or her to the Better Persons Bureau.