A skilled pediatric dentist is key to your child’s lifelong oral health.
Finding the right pediatric dentist for you and your family plays a huge role in not only keeping your kid’s teeth healthy but also in instilling lifelong dental care habits.
Every parent wants their child to be as happy and healthy as possible. Oral health is directly linked to general health which means regular brushing, flossing, and dental checks are just as important as visits to the pediatrician.
Additionally, children who grow up regularly visiting the dentist are much more likely to continue this habit through to adulthood. This means that kids who see a dentist regularly in childhood not only have healthier teeth, but also carry a higher level of oral health throughout their life.
The sheer impact a good dentist for kids can have on your child makes it imperative that parents take the time to find the best one for them. The more positive your child’s experiences are with the dentist, the better!
The Difference Between a Family Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist
If you’re actively searching for a new pediatric dentist, chances are the first thing you did was hop onto Google and search for something like, “kid’s dentist near me” or “Vancouver kid’s dentist.” This type of search will bring up local dentists that accept children as patients, however, it doesn’t mean every dentist is a pediatric dentist.
As a parent, you might not realize the differences between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist. At face value, they may seem very similar, especially if the family dentist really markets towards kid’s dental care. In reality, they’re two different types of dentistry.
Family dentists are usually general dentists who also treat children. While most general dentists have a minimum patient age requirement (i.e. 12 or older), family dentists generally accept children of all ages. Family dentists provide a range of dental services, and while they may be great with kids, they don’t have specialized pediatric training.
A better option is to look for a board-certified pediatric dentist, especially if your child is very young (between newborn and 12 years old). A board-certified pediatric dentist is a dentist that not only specializes in pediatric dental care in practice but also has the training to back up their passion.
Pediatric dentists start their careers with the same training as family dentists, but they undergo an additional two to three years or more of pediatric dental training. They’ll have gone through the rigors of intensive training and testing to prove their ability and knowledge specializing in kid’s dental care.
After these additional years of specialization, they chose to appear in a voluntary rigorous examination to be board certified and attain a fellow status.
The Advantage of Pediatric Dentists
Hands down, the biggest advantage of going with a pediatric dentist is their specialized experience in treating youngsters.
Not only do they have an in-depth understanding of children’s oral health at a medical level, but they also have a greater understanding of how to work with children. This includes shaping their behavior and experiences in a positive manner, treating issues and pursuing treatment in an effective way, and making kids feel safe, comfortable, and secure.
Pediatric dental offices are also designed in a much more kid-friendly way, with plenty of activities to keep little ones busy in the waiting room and content in the chair. Take a look at our Facilities and Equipment page to see how Must Love Kids has outfitted its office specifically with little patients in mind.
Get word-of-mouth honesty by researching online patient reviews.
The next step in finding the perfect pediatric dentist is to scour online patient reviews. Back in the day, most people relied heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations when it came to finding a new pediatric dentist for their kids. Nowadays, online reviews found on unbiased sites have the same effect.
You can find unbiased reviews on Google and rateabiz.com. Since these are third-party sites, many parents trust them more than a dentist’s personal website or Facebook page. However, don’t forget to check those websites out as well!
Here are some of the great patient reviews you can find written by Must Love Kids patients’ parents:
- “We all had a great time when the kids got their teeth cleaned. I was a little jealous but I had a great time visiting with the awesome Doctors and friendly staff. My legs are still a little sore from the video games but it was worth it.” —Becky James Arthur
- “Dr. Mo and Dr. G and their staff are the best! My son feels so welcome and at home with them and the office is amazing! We wouldn’t go anywhere else!” —Leslie Callihan
- “I cannot say enough good things about this husband and wife team. They not only have dentistry knowledge but have an amazing rapport with the children they see. Last summer they helped walk us through dental surgery for my nephews who were staying with us. I was so nervous but felt confident that they were in good hands. I was amazed by the attention to detail and the time allocated to ensuring that I was comfortable and had all my questions and concerns answered. They were patient and never made me feel that my concerns were dumb or not valued. Beyond that, they both impacted the kids view of dentist offices too. Lets face it, going to the dentist is not always a pleasant idea for kiddos. Sometimes it can take some coaxing. After just one visit for their cleanings, all of my kids were looking forward to going back. In fact, we are truthfully a bit late for our routine check up because we were waiting for the grand opening. All 6 of my kids will continue to see them as long as they can. Can’t wait to see the new office, our appointments are booked!” —Angel Nettles-Slot
Call your prospective pediatric dentist and ask important questions.
Last but not least, the final step in finding the best pediatric dentist for your family is to call up the office and ask some questions.
Here are a few questions to ask either the office staff or the dentist directly:
- Are you currently accepting new patients? Are there age limits?
- What training does the pediatric dentist have?
- How long has the dentist been practicing? Does he/she pursue continued education?
- Does the dentist have experience working with special needs kids?
- How does the dentist handle working with nervous kids?
- What insurance does the office accept?
- What’s the policy on missed or canceled appointments?
- Does the office allow for weekend appointments?
Keep in mind that most pediatric dentists are very busy and the office staff may not be able to answer every question. In that case, they’ll simply take your name and number and have the dentist contact you when they have a free moment. You can also ask any questions on our live online chat on our website.
After the questions phase, you can move onto scheduling a consultation appointment to meet your child’s new dentist in person and have a comprehensive exam completed.
Schedule an appointment to experience the Must Love Kids difference.
When you’re ready to schedule your child’s first appointment with Must Love Kids, all you need to do is give us a call at 360.450.2999 or fill out the convenient appointment form on our Contact Us page. Scroll down on that page and you’ll also be able to double-check that your child’s insurance is accepted by our office prior to making your appointment.
Once your child’s consultation is booked you can head over to our Patient Forms page to register online. This is optional, but it does help our busy parents save time on filling out their child’s new patient registration paperwork and medical history. After the form has been completed and sent, it’ll be entered into our system and we’ll be able to check you and your child in much more quickly during the actual appointment.
We want to help your child build a great relationship with their dentist and establish a healthy oral care routine to last them a lifetime. We can’t wait to help take care of your child’s oral health care needs.