Whether your child has a gummy grin with sprouting teeth or a mouth filled with pearly whites, it is important to ensure that they see a dentist regularly for a healthy smile. You should choose a child pediatrician who is competent and good with kids. The following is a simple guide on what to look out for when choosing a dentist for your child.
The first step is to solicit recommendations from your family and friends. Ensure you choose a pediatric dentist with 2-3 years of training that spans beyond dental school. Other qualifications to look out for include a person who has studied growth and development, and child psychology.
Schedule Appointments with Prospects
After short-listing a few candidates, the next step is to schedule face to face meetings. During the consultation meetings, be keen on how the dentists socialize with your child and how the child responds. The ideal pediatric dentist should be friendly and warm towards your child. Furthermore, a good dentist should be able to answer any questions you pose regarding your child’s dental health.
Check the Atmosphere
During your consultation meetings, be keen on the features of the office. A pediatric dentist’s office should be child friendly with kid’s toys and books, popular video games, and TV programs for children. These features help make a dental appointment enjoyable for your child. It is also important to look out for the dental equipment in the clinic. Ensure the equipment is suited for children like sunglasses for shielding a child’s eyes from bright lights during dental procedures or toothbrushes with cartoon characters. The other thing to check out is the office staff. The employees at the clinic should be approachable, friendly, and good with children.
Questions to Ask During Consultation Meetings
Ask your prospects about their experience with different clients. Children require attention and sensitivity especially if they have special needs. Identify a dentist who is both compassionate and patient, because the child’s reaction to treatment can affect their oral health.
Ask your prospects about the services they offer. Some of the services that you should consider when hiring a pediatric dentist include:
- Oral health exams including risk assessment for mothers and infants
- Dental care like diet/nutrition recommendations and brushing
- Regular fluoride treatments and cleaning
- Sealants for preventing cavities
A pediatric dentist should further offer habit counseling like pacifier use and thumb sucking. They should also advice parents on the foods that children should avoid and oral hygiene practices.
Foods that Children Should Avoid For Healthy Teeth
Sugary Drinks: Bacteria break down sugars into acids. These acids erode the tooth enamel and create pits that promote cavities. Sugary drinks such as fruit and soft drinks consist of simple sugars and should be avoided(see the tips here).
High-Sweetened Snacks and Candy: Most candies are full of sugar that increase the acid levels of bacteria in a child’s mouth. Gummy and sticky candies are a big threat to a child’s teeth because they stick to the teeth making it difficult for saliva to draw them away.
Starchy foods: Some starches increase the acid levels of the bacteria in your mouth and erode tooth enamel. Some of the starchy foods that should be avoided include pastas, breads, potatoes, and rice. The more cooked or refined a starch, the higher the chance of raising the bacteria’s acid level in a child’s mouth. Instead of refined starch, raw starch found in vegetables is a better alternative for healthy teeth.