Your child’s first tooth has erupted! It’s an exciting time for both you and your child. Your baby may be finding it interesting the things he can do (and chew) with his new oral ‘tool’, while you may be thankful for less sleepless nights now that teething discomfort has passed and enjoying seeing this new development with your growing child. Dental professionals think it’s a pivotal moment, too.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents take their children as soon as the first tooth comes in. Why so early? 1 in 5 children, according to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), is affected by tooth decay before the age of 5. By taking your child to see the dentist, any signs of developing oral disease will be caught early and treated effectively. 

Choosing The Right Dentist

Finding the right person to treat your child is something that needs careful thought. While good oral health is the main goal, your child’s comfort is a primary concern too. Here are some things to consider:

1. Qualifications

A dentist for kids isn’t the same as one for adults. A pediatric dentist undergoes specialized training that makes them more qualified to work with kids, while general dentists sometimes cater to a particular age group. 

If going to different practice for each member of  your family is inconvenient, you can also consider going to a family dentist for your little one. Family dentists are equipped to work with people of all ages, and they can deliver the appropriate care that children need.

2. Recommendations

Turn to word-of-mouth recommendations. The best ones come from other parents who have had their children interact with dental professionals. Ask them questions regarding their child’s experience, the comfort level in the office, the overall atmosphere, and any other questions you can think of. 

3.  Reviews

Look around for online reviews of the practice. This will help you get a feel for what goes on inside the dental practice. Check Google or Yelp for patient impressions of the dentist, staff, office, and the entire process. 

4. Dental Specialists

Call your local dental specialists for recommendations on a good pediatric, family, or general dentist. Specialists (Orthodontists, Periodontists, Endodontists, Oral Surgeons) work with the other dental providers in the area on a frequent basis. If you call more than one specialist and hear the same name recommended, chances are you will be in safe hands. In the case of searching for a dentist for a child, orthodontists are a particularly good specialist to contact since they see children so frequently.

5. Dental Board

When seeking a new dental professional of any kind, it is always a prudent idea to check with your state dentistry board to see if any actions have been taken against a providers’ license. In Oregon, it is very simple for anyone to do a licensee lookup on the Oregon Board of Dentistry’s website.

6. Actual Appointment

Once you’ve done your homework and chosen a practice for the first visit, it’s time to book an appointment. Your child’s first visit with the dentist should be a fun and positive experience. It’s also your chance to observe everything. Does the doctor seem competent? Is the staff welcoming? Does the place look like a safe space for your child?

If you think it’s not a good fit, don’t be afraid to look around. Your and your child’s observations matter a lot and these will influence succeeding visits. It’s important to go somewhere where your mind can be put at ease. 

White Dental Studio loves having kids as patients!

We’re a kid-friendly family dentistry office that offers personalized care for each child’s specific needs. We believe in building lasting relationships, and we’d love to have your kid grow with us. Of course, it goes without saying that we love making each visit a fun one for you and your child. Contact us at 541-708-6288 to know more about us.

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