As soon as your child’s very first tooth appears, that’s when the magic begins.
The excitement of a first tooth appearing is great; you can start great teeth cleaning regimes, planning for tooth fairy visits, etc.
However, the worry of tooth decay in kids has increased in recent years. In fact, according to PHE data from 2019, 9 out of 10 children’s tooth extractions (aged between 0-5) are caused by tooth decay, with tooth extraction still the most common hospital procedure in 6-10-year olds.
At Abbey Dental, we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to take a trip to your dentist as soon as those first teeth start popping through.
Visiting a family dentist early on can help to make the trip to the dentist a much more positive one. Providing comprehensive and ongoing care for all future dental treatment.
To help you find the right family-friendly dentist, we’ve provided our top tips for things to consider.
How to find a family-friendly dentist
- Talk to the people you know. Speaking to your friends and relatives to find out where they take their children, and how happy they are with treatments, etc.is a great place to start. Finding out more about what their experience of the staff is like, do they feel confident that all members of their family are getting the best possible dental care, etc? Of course, the most important question to find the answer to is, “do the kids enjoy going there?” (well as much as any child likes to visit the dentist).
- Where are they based, and when are they open? How far are you willing to travel for a visit to a good dentist? Family life can be busy, and sometimes it may be more convenient to find a good dentist near to where you live, your children’s school, or even your place of work. Ultimately, it’s about finding one that works with you on all levels. It’s also important to check out what times they offer appointments and if these timings also work for you.
- Do they treat children? Of course, most dentists will treat children, but it is worth checking as this isn’t always the case.
- What is their appointment/scheduling procedure? Do they have waiting lists? What is their protocol? Do they have a policy for cancellations, etc.? Take this opportunity to also ask about payment procedures and even options for private dental care.
- Are they available in emergencies? Unfortunately, you can never plan a dental emergency. However, knowing that your dentist is available and can handle all emergencies will put your mind at rest.
- Check them out. It’s not uncommon to request a visit to your prospective dentist so that you can check out their facilities as well as get a vibe from their environment. Visiting lets you gauge the friendliness of staff, how they interact with their patients, etc. It’s also an excellent opportunity to check out their waiting room to see what facilities they have there for kids and if they really are family friendly.
- Gut Feeling. You get a gut feeling when you meet a new person, and meeting your prospective dentist for the first time is no different. We’d always advise following your gut. You have to be completely comfortable with who you are seeing and receiving treatment from. For example, how do they interact with kids, do they talk to them appropriately and in a language, they’ll understand? Do they give you a feel-good factor when you’re talking to them? You know your gut. It’s important to follow it.
- Can you trust their advice? Can they offer any educational material to help you through your family’s ongoing dental treatment? What about advising on things such as kid-friendly toothpaste, what is best for babies, and more? If you’re concerned about anything in particular, can you talk to them openly?
- The right techniques for the right people. If your child or family member is nervous or anxious about visiting the dentist, what techniques and methods are put in place to help ease the situation and reduce any apprehension? How would they deal with a difficult child, and are you comfortable with their methods?
- Do your research. Talk to people, ask around, check out dentists online, and across social media. You want to make the best and the right decision for you and your family, so doing a little bit of background research will undoubtedly help.
Ultimately, you want to know that you and your family’s dental care is in the best hands. That each experience to the dentist isn’t a daunting one but rather comfortable and relaxed.
At Abbey Dental, we aim to provide the best dental service to all families, all matched with our exceptional customer service.
Your child’s, and your, dental health and well-being is our top priority.