A Parent’s Guide to Finding that Kid-Friendly Dentist

Let’s face it, no matter what we as parents try to do or say to change the way our children view the dentist, kids will almost always fear them. From the “play ground horror stories” that kids exaggerate to one another to the representations of the “dentist as a butcher” in popular cartoons (season 4 episode 17 of the Simpsons), kids rarely hear or see positive representations of their dental specialist. However, by finding the right kid-friendly dentist parents can transform their children’s views and change their attitude towards the dentist. This article will help parents in their quest to finding the perfect dentist for their little ones.

Do your research

When you are doing your research on local dentists, approach the process as if you are scanning resumes: take note of the ones that are worth contacting for an interview, and disregard the others. Remember, your choice will be your child’s dentist for many years. When you find a dentist online who claims to work with children, such as Dr. Cobb the Kids Dentist, the first thing you will want to determine is why they work with kids, and to what extent. Almost all dentists will include childcare in their list of “specialties” but this does not make them a true specialist in children’s dentistry. Aside from having the education and skills to perform dental work on kids, a true specialist in pediatric dentistry will have the unique personality and true gift of relating to children, as well as the passion. This combination will assure the child’s dental health and to make the experience a fun one (yes, kids can have fun at the dentist). Here are some questions to ask your child’s potential dentist:

  • Why do you specialize in children?
  • Where did your passion come from?
  • Does your staff share the same commitment to kids?
  • What are some things you do to settle frightened children down?

These questions will form a great starting point for your interview process. Another thing you will want to do is check out the dentist’s website and see what percent of the content actually specifies his/her passion for children. Also, check to see if the dentist uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch with patients. Note that this provides a virtual opinion board where parents can express their views of the dentist’s abilities. If your dentist has satisfactory answers to the above stated questions, and parents are praising him/her on Facebook, then it is a pretty safe bet you have found a winner. The next step is to take your child in for a routine checkup and observe how your little one responds to the dentist, and vice versa.

Don’t neglect your own role

To make sure your child’s visit to the dentist is as positive an experience as possible, you as a parent have an important role to play. In an article published by Web M.D.the author states that if the parent has any feelings of tension and anxiety that the child will pick up on it and will feel fear. Make sure you are calm. In order to feel calm, you must trust the new dentist, and if you interviewed him/her as directed, you shouldn’t feel any tension at all. Remember, a good pediatric dentist who is in the profession for the right reasons will be naturally gifted and will be able to settle your child’s nerves. And when it comes to the dentist, a happy child will make for a happy parent.