Well before your baby's big debut you start looking for a pediatrician to care for your child's health. But, what about your little one's teeth? Finding a pediatric dentist is important, since tooth decay and oral diseases in childhood can have lifelong consequences, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. With that in mind, knowing the right questions to ask can help you to find a pro at a clinic like Southridge Pediatric Dentistry that meets your needs and expectations.
1. Will my child get to see the same dentist all of the time? If your child is shy/nervous/anxious around strangers, having one consistent dentist can help to alleviate some of the fear. Instead of having to meet a new adult each visit, knowing the Dr. Dan is going to check his teeth can calm and comfort your child. This allows your child to develop a sense of trust in his dentist. It also offers the predictability that your child needs.
2. What are the practice's hours? American Dental Association suggests choosing a pediatric dentist who has an appointment schedule that is convenient for you and your family. For example, you start work every day at 9 am. You drop your child off at daycare by 8:30. If the dentist's first appointment isn't until 9:30, you will have to go into work late. If the practice has early morning appointments, or evening ones, you can still take your child to her regular checkups and keep your work schedule intact.
3. Do you have emergency hours? In a perfect world your child would only break a tooth, have mouth pain or develop some other dental issue during business hours. In the real world these problems can arise at any time, including evenings and weekends. Ask the dental practice of they have emergency hours. If they do, ask who will see your child. Will her regular dentist see her or will she end up having to take whoever happens to be on-call?
4. Does the practice work with an orthodontist? Someday your tot will be a teen. When this happens, you may need to take her to an orthodontist. Some pediatric practices work hand-in-hand with an orthodontist. This can streamline the dental-care process. Instead of having to shuttle x-rays and files between unrelated offices, a practice that works with an orthodontist or specialist may make life easier for both you and your child.
Give your choice of a pediatric dentist the same weight as you would when choosing a pediatrician. Before you make your pick, call ahead and ask the office staff a few questions. From learning who your child will see during each visit to planning ahead for orthodonture, getting the low-down on the practice is part of the selection process.