Murray Hill Family Dental's Blog

Four Characteristics That Make a Great Pediatric Dentist

Tuesday March 24, 2015 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

Taking your child to the dentist can be a challenging task for any parent, especially if the child has any fears or anxiety about going. If that is the case, it may be worth your while to find a kid-friendly dentist in your area. A kid-friendly dentist, or a pediatric dentist, is someone who not only fills the waiting room with toys, but someone who also has a specialized education and genuine desire to work with children.
Finding a dentist with these special traits will alleviate the anxiety your child may be experiencing, which will help him or her to have a more pleasant experience. If you are looking to find a dentist to handle your child’s dentistry needs, here are a few traits you will want to look for when conducting your search.

TRAIT #1: AN ATMOSPHERE TAILORED TO CHILDREN

As a parent, you want your child to feel comfortable when you bring him or her to the dentist, right? This feeling of comfort starts with the waiting room. Typically, children do not have the same level of patience that adults do when it comes to waiting for an appointment. To them, waiting can seem painful and boring and even frightening if they are already nervous for their visit. Therefore, a child-friendly dentist office should contain toys and other child-safe items to keep their little patients occupied while they wait for their appointment to begin.

Additionally, the exam room should be uncluttered, welcoming and engaging for the child. The dental chair should be easily approachable as well. Having enough space in the exam room for mom or dad to sit comfortably will help ease the stress of the child and ensure that they will not be in there alone. If the environment is properly tailored to your child, the entire dental experience will be much more positive and successful for him or her.

TRAIT #2: A FRIENDLY AND ENGAGING STAFF

Nothing can be more frightening than having to visit the doctor or dentist, especially if you are not feeling well. When you encounter a less-than-friendly staff member, it can only add to the anxiety. Therefore, having an approachable and welcoming dentist and team of staff members who engage with children and make them laugh will make the experience much more pleasant. The children will feel more comfortable and be able to build their trust in the dentist for future visits to come.

TRAIT #3: CHILD-SIZED INSTRUMENTS AND SUPPLIES

A child’s mouth is obviously not the same size as an adult’s mouth, so it is extremely important to have the right sized tools for the dental procedures. Using tools that are too large could result in extreme pain and potential damage to your child’s mouth. Do not fear, however, because a good pediatric dentist will have the necessary tools to make your little one as comfortable as they possibly can.

TRAIT #4: COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR CHILD

Industry jargon can be daunting in any field, especially to children. You do not want your child to feel intimidated by the way a dentist speaks to him or her about dental concerns, which only further heightens the importance of finding a great pediatric dentist for your child. Excellent, kid-friendly dentists will find a simple and easy way to explain to your child what they are doing. They will help your child to understand the process as a way to ease the nervousness.

If necessary, the dentist will even avoid using words that may frighten your child, and talk about something of interest to distract him or her fears or anxieties instead. They also understand that each child is very different, and it is important that a kid-friendly dentist can accommodate and be flexible to those needs.

When choosing a dentist for your little one, the most important aspects to look for are patience and care. Pediatric dentists understand that earning a child’s trust can take time, and they are patient in achieving that trust. Additionally, pediatric dentists know that children need to feel cared for by their dentist and know that they are in good hands. When your child can find comfort in visiting the dentist, this will ensure a happier child and a brighter dental future.

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