Choosing when to take your child to see a dentist can be difficult. You don’t want to wait too long and miss out on necessary preventative care, but you also want to make sure your child is comfortable with your dentist. When it comes time for choosing the right pediatric dentist, you should consider different factors such as location and insurance coverage. Check out these seven tips from Metro Dental on when and how to begin taking your child to the dentist:
1) Start taking your child when they are young to get them comfortable.
Many kids can get anxious or scared about going to the dentist, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you start taking your child when they are young, they will get used to it, and it won’t be such a big deal. By the time they are teenagers, they will be more than ready for their dental appointments. Plus, early visits mean less work because there is less chance of needing extensive dental work down the road.
2) Ensure you are making regular visits a priority to prevent tooth decay.
Young children need to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. These dental visits are essential because they can help prevent tooth decay. The best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy is by making regular dental appointments a priority. In addition to getting their teeth cleaned during each visit, it is also necessary for young children to have fluoride treatment at least once a year or more often if recommended by your child’s dentist. Fluoride helps strengthen enamel and keeps plaque from forming on the surface of teeth. It can even reverse some damage caused by cavities. Taking care of your child’s baby teeth now will make taking care of their permanent teeth later much easier when they get older.
3) Find a dental office that specializes in family or pediatric dentistry.
Finding a family dentist that is the right fit for you and your child can sometimes be challenging. What you need as an adult is very different from what your child will need. Finding a practice specializing in family dentistry is ideal because they are equipped to handle everyone’s needs. This way, you can address all your dental care needs in one place. Our team at Metro Dental is trained in general dentistry and pediatrics so that we can service your entire family.
4) Practice at-home dental care with your child.
Dental care for children is an essential part of establishing healthy habits. For example, brushing twice a day helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. However, many parents struggle with teaching their kids how to brush at home. The best way you can help your child maintain good dental health is by practicing these tips at home:
- Have them brush their baby teeth every morning and night using a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Use mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Encourage them to get in the habit of flossing once a day.
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste and use the correct amount of pressure when brushing (gently).
- Instruct them to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it.
5) Bring something comforting from home with you to their visit.
Many pediatric dental patients feel anxious or scared about their visits. Bringing something comforting from home can help make them feel more at ease. It could be a favorite toy, blanket, or even just a photo of your family. Whatever makes your child feel comfortable and safe will help them relax and enjoy their appointment.
6) Plan a reward for after their visit, so they have something to look forward to.
Planning a reward for after their visit will make the experience more exciting and less scary for your child. You can also try these tips:
- Set up an appointment time when you know your child has a break from school or extracurricular activities coming up.
- Ask if there are any TV shows or movies they have wanted to watch lately and plan on watching them together once the appointment is over.
- Schedule some playtime with friends afterward so they can show off what happened in the dentist’s office!
7) Find a dentist that is in your insurance network.
Finding a dentist that is in your insurance network can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you find the right one for you:
- Check with your insurance company to see if they have any recommendations or restrictions on which pediatric dentists are in-network. This will save you time and money when it comes time to file claims.
- Search online for reviews of dentists within your area, then narrow down by what is important to you (i.e., whether it has good hours, accepts specific insurances).
- Find out how long the waiting list is by calling ahead of time or visiting the office website before scheduling an appointment too far in advance; this way, there will not be much of a wait.
8) Find a practice that is close by and has convenient hours.
If you are looking for a new pediatric dental practice, it is important to find one close by and has convenient hours. You do not want to have to drive across town every time your child needs to see the dentist! Look for a centrally located practice or one with multiple locations so you can choose the one that is closest to you. And be sure to ask about the practice’s hours so you can find one that fits your schedule.
Contact Metro Dental to Schedule a Dental Visit
At Metro Dental, we care about your child’s oral health just as much as you do. We aim to ensure that their first dental visit will be comfortable. For more information about the benefits of pediatric dentistry or to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained and caring dental professionals, give us a call at (914) 533-4200. We are happy to help you find out if this is right for your child!
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