20% of kids between the ages of five and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. 13% of kids between the ages of 12 to 19 also have an untreated decayed tooth.
Primary teeth help kids chew properly, which helps maintain proper nutrition. It also aids in speech development.
Taking care of primary teeth also helps pave the way for healthy, straight permanent teeth. A good pediatric dentist in Chicago can help make sure your kids grow up with healthy, beautiful teeth.
But you need to find the right one first. If you’re looking for a dentist for kids, keep reading. We’re telling you how to find a good dentist for kids.
Ask Other Parents to Recommend a Chicago Pediatric Dentist
If you don’t know of a dentist place for kids, ask other parents you know. But don’t just get a recommendation without asking a few questions first.
Ask what that parent likes most about the dental practice they use. Then ask them to tell you what they like least about the dental practice they use.
Make sure when receiving a recommendation that their child has actually had services provided to them from the dentist themselves. Otherwise, you’re just going to know how well the hygienist performs, which doesn’t provide a complete picture.
Check Online Reviews
Whether you get a recommendation from another parent or not, always check out the online reviews before you settle on a dentist place for kids. Online reviews will provide you with a much more accurate picture of what to expect.
While reviews left on a dentist’s own website are good, it’s also obvious that the dentist only chooses to post the best reviews. And if you think you’re on a review site where businesses can pay for good reviews, keep looking.
If you can find a customer review where someone has left their contact information, don’t be afraid to reach out to find out more information.
Visit the Local Dental School
If there’s a local dental school nearby, it’s worth it to call or stop by to ask if they have any recommendations. Another option is to simply take your child to the dental school for their appointments.
Dental schools provide the same services and often at a lower cost. And while your kid will be seen by an intern or student, they’re also supervised very closely by highly trained dentists.
Some parents prefer taking their children to the dental school or a pediatric clinic since they tend to provide environments that are smaller, more intimate, and warmer.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has a great dentist directory on its website. There, you can find dentists who are certified by the AAPD.
You can also use this site to verify any recommendations you receive from outside sources, such as other parents and/or online reviews.
Always Check Their Qualifications First
Every dentist, no matter their specialty, must obtain the same medical degree before they can practice. But a pediatric dentist must also go through certification training to help them learn how to deal with kids.
Pediatric dentists learn different procedures and techniques to help all kinds of kids. They even learn about deep and conscious sedation’s that help when working with autistic children.
Ask About Their Qualifications
Check to make sure that your pediatric dentist has completed their course in Pediatric Dentistry from an accredited institution. Their license should also be active.
Most dentists display their achievements and certifications in visible places around their office. However, if you don’t see theirs, feel free to ask.
Visit the Office Before Committing
Both you and your child(ren) should pay a visit to the pediatric dentist before making a commitment. You want to get a general feeling of how well the office operates and of the dentist.
Make sure the dentist is located nearby. Your time is precious to begin with, but if you have kids with health or behavioral struggles, the less time in the car where anticipation and anxiety can begin building up, the better.
Spend Time With the Dentist
A good dentist for kids has great behavioral management skills. Take note of how the dentist greets your child. They should make your kid feel comfortable and welcome. If they don’t, keep looking.
Ask if the dentist is willing to demonstrate to your child what a typical exam looks like. This will help your kid feel much more confident when it’s time to make an actual appointment.
Make Sure the Dentist Communicates Well With Everyone
Communication between the dentist, you, and your child should use a process of facial expression, dialogue, and voice tone.
Also, pay attention to how the dentist treats their staff. This will also provide you with a lot of insight as to how the business is managed.
Questions to Ask After the First Visit
Once your child has had their first appointment, ask yourself a few questions before fully committing such as:
- Was the dentist on time for the appointment?
- Did he/she ask for a complete dental and medical history?
- Did the dentist and staff help encourage and teach your child good oral health habits?
- Did the dentist and staff communicate with you regarding your child’s oral health?
- Were both you and your child treated respectfully?
Always go with your gut instincts. If you feel something is off about a dentist and/or their staff, keep searching.
In the meantime, make sure your child practices good oral hygiene by ensuring they brush their teeth twice a day and floss. It’s also a good idea to feed them a nutritious diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Take a Look at Our Practice
We realize how precious time is when you’re a parent. We want to help you save time.
Rather than finding a separate Chicago Pediatric Dentist, we provide dental services, including orthodontics, to both adults and children.
Your oral health is important to us. Don’t wait too long to make your next appointment for yourself or your child. Click here to contact us.