Providing the Best Dental Care for Your Child
It’s natural to want the best for your kids, including the best dental care available. Your child’s dentist plays a vital role in helping them develop strong, healthy teeth, so finding the right dentist for your child is essential. When you’re searching for a new pediatric dentist, however, the multitude of options can feel overwhelming. At some point, you’ll likely find yourself asking, “I know these dentists are skilled, but how do I find the best kids’ dentist near me?” If you’re not quite sure how to move forward, here are a few tips to help you find a skilled and compassionate pediatric dentist who can give your child the best possible care.
Establish your basic criteria.
Before you get started, have an idea of what you want in a pediatric dentist. Consider things like how far from your home or your child’s school you’re willing to commute for appointments—and how willing you’d be to travel farther for a better dentist. This will help you eliminate many dental offices from your list with only cursory research; if they’re outside your maximum distance, don’t put them on your list.
It’s also wise to consider what qualities are most important for your family and which are deal breakers. If you have a child who struggles with dental anxiety, a patient and compassionate dentist and staff may be at the top of your list, while an impatient or disorganized staff may be a deal-breaker. As you find dentists to consider and begin looking into them more deeply, knowing your priorities will help you find the right dentist for your child.
Ask for recommendations.
Once you know what you’re looking for, the best way to get started is to ask for recommendations from your family, friends, and neighbors. Asking people you know is great because they’ll offer an honest opinion, and you have the opportunity to ask them about particular aspects that are important to you. If you’re new to the Hoover area and don’t know many people yet, you can discover local options by Googling nearby practices and reading the reviews (see later for more on this).
Pay attention to the services each practice offers.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to the services that each practice you’re considering offers and determine what will work best for your family. It may be easier for you, for example, to find a dentist who can treat your entire family. At Brocks Gap Dental, we offer regular evaluations and treatments for families of all ages. This allows you to schedule an appointment for yourself and your child on the same day, which saves you time and keeps you from having to go through the process of switching dentists when your child turns 18. Additionally, children near or above the age of seven will benefit from a kids’ dentist who can provide orthodontics evaluations and treatments all in one place, which saves you the time and hassle of tracking down a specialist and getting a referral.
Do your research.
A great way to narrow down your list of potential dentists is to look up reviews for each office. Good dental offices will have mostly positive reviews, though a few negative reviews here and there are inevitable. It’s a good idea to pay attention to patterns in the reviews since multiple people mentioning a friendly or disorganized staff is much more indicative of the way the office operates on a daily basis than a single review. It’s also usually a good sign if reviewers mention going to the same dentist for many years, as it shows long-term satisfaction with the dentist and staff. Additionally, you can look up offices on the Better Business Bureau and check into any awards an office may have received. Our office has won multiple awards for our stellar service and has earned an A+ from the Better Business Bureau. Here’s one of our favorite reviews to give you an idea of what you should be looking out for:
“We’ve been coming here for about 10 years and have always had good experiences. The dentist is a traumatic thing for my child, but they have been very patient and now he handles it like a champ. Great kid-friendly environment.” – Kristin L.
Visit the office in person.
Once you have narrowed down your list, the best way to pick a winner is simply to visit the office in person. Pay attention to how clean the office is, as that’s usually a good indicator of how clean it is behind-the-scenes, and watch how the staff interacts with parents and kids alike. Are they patient and kind? Are they organized? You can also take the time to speak with the dentist. If possible, it’s a great idea to bring your little one along and see how they interact with the staff and dentist. As much as you may like them, at the end of the day it’s how comfortable your child is that matters. If a dentist makes them nervous, it may make appointments harder and scarier for them.
You can also take the opportunity to ask each dentist about their qualifications and which classes they have taken to continue their education, as this provides a hint about what area of dentistry they’re most interested and skilled in performing. Most dentists won’t mind these questions, and asking questions like this will also tell you a lot about their level of patience, whether or not they’re a good listener, and how willing they are to explain different procedures to you. An ideal dentist will have an equal measure of skill with people and dentistry.
The right pediatric dentist will help protect your child’s oral health, guide them toward wise, tooth-healthy decisions, and will help them avoid or heal from dental anxiety by building positive experiences at the dentist. Dental visits will be less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your child, building positive experiences and habits that will benefit your little one well into adulthood.