Finding a Family Dentist That You and Your Kids Love

Finding the right family dentist for you and your kids is a key part of ensuring great oral care for your entire family. You want a dental professional that can meet your needs and offer excellent pediatric care. With a great dentist, every trip to the office can be a positive experience. This can translate to well-informed parents and kids who are motivated to take care of their teeth. What are the most important things to look for in a good dentist for the whole family?

What Parents Want

When searching for a dental professional to look after your family's teeth, you want a skilled dentist with whom you have great rapport. There is no substitute for an experienced dentist, someone who can recognize potential problems and inform you of the best treatment options. A family dentist that has worked with adults and kids, including very young children, can understand and respond to the diverse needs of you and your children: losing those first teeth, fluoride needs at all ages and even tooth whitening options. Before making your first appointment, see if the dentist has a website so you can see the experience he has in the biography online. Ask friends and family for referrals and read reviews and research of potential dental practices online in your community.

An individual who you feel comfortable talking to is also important. You want to be able to ask questions and vocalize concerns about everything from healthy snacks to flossing skills. Every trip to the dentist office is not only an opportunity to have a professional evaluate and care for your family's teeth, but it also is a chance to gain invaluable insight about oral health and preventative care.

Aside from experience and rapport, look for a dental office that is practical. Is the office close to your home? What about availability can you make a next-day appointment for your five-year-old's cracked tooth? Also inquire about financing. Are there flexible payment options for services that are not covered by dental insurance?

What Kids Want

Children want (and need) a dentist and dental hygienist who are gentle, patient and accustomed to working with kids. Video games in the waiting room and toy prizes after the appointment are great, but kindness is what will help a child feel comfortable and encouraged. Help your kids gain a positive attitude toward dental visits by finding a professional who makes them feel good about taking care of their teeth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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What To Expect During a DENTAL VISIT

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  • A Thorough Cleaning – a dental hygienist or dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Then he or she will polish and floss your teeth.

  • A Full Dental Examination – your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.