*This is a collaborative post*
Children often remember their first visit to the dentist, and usually not for the right reasons. A dental clinic can be a scary place for any person, let alone a child, and the chemistry they will have with their dentist will make a world of difference. The whole atmosphere of the clinic will also have an impact.
Choosing the right dentist now is essential as they’ll likely become their dentist for the entirety of their childhood. You have to make sure that both of them mesh together to make future visits easier. Here are a few things you should be looking for when choosing a dentist for your child.
Check the Dentist’s Specialisation and Accreditation
The most important thing when choosing any dentist is checking their accreditation and area of expertise. You want to work with someone who’s used to the specific type of procedures you were thinking of and has experience dealing with children.
However, don’t stick to those who advertise themselves as paediatric dentists only. A doctor might not be a paediatric dentist per se, but still be able to work with children. Dental clinics like Woodborough House, for instance, focus on the patient’s experience and can be a great choice for patients big or small. They’ve been in the business for over 40 years and have experience with a whole variety of clients. They’re also a great resource if you need advice from a dentist and they have a lot of experience working with nervous clients, so they could be a great fit for a child’s first visit.
As far as certification goes, you want to make sure that they’re registered with the Care Quality Commission and the General Dental Council. If you can’t find any information about them online, you should contact them directly and ask.
We say consider because you never know how a dentist will react to your child. They may have a great relationship with other patients, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll work for you. Still, it would be a good idea to get a few suggestions from some of your friends and families for a good dentist. You’ll then have a few more names to choose from when the time to interview comes.
Consider the Clinic’s Location and Atmosphere
This will be especially important when it comes to choosing a clinic for a child. You want a clinic with a relaxing atmosphere and dedicated staff. You want them to make you and your child feel comfortable the minute you walk through the doors. Ideally, you’d like to see things for children like toys or colouring books. Your first visit could be a good time to ask if they are used to working with children.
You also want to pick a clinic that’s close to you, if possible. However, if you find a great dentist, you shouldn’t cross them off simply because they’re on the other side of town. Sometimes the distance is worth it. Finding a great dentist can be difficult, so focus on quality instead of convenience.
However, if you have multiple children and they have many issues, you might want to stick to a dentist who is closer. But, if you only have one or two children and they only need check-up, distance is less of an issue.
Check Out Their Policies
Different dentists have different ways of working, and you have to check the dentist’s policies before you work with them. For instance, some doctors will insist that you stay bedside during procedures and exams. On the other hand, others will refuse categorically that anyone is present, which can be an issue with some parents. You should let the dentist know of your preferences before you start working with them, and see if they can accommodate you.
Give Them a Test Run
If you see a dentist that you think is a match, you should consider giving them a test run just to see how good of a fit they are for your child. Check how they interact with each other and how your child reacts to them.
You want a dentist that is smiling and happy and will be able to take some of the stress and fear out of the whole process. You can try to interview people all you want, but, at the end of the day, the only way to truly know how good they are is to let them work. Give a few dentists a try, and if you don’t like them, switch.
Finding a good dentist for your child can be a challenge, but it’s possible when you know how to go about it. Make sure that you follow our few tips and take your time until you find the perfect match for your child.