At the age of around six months, many parents see a change in their child. They’re irrationally cranky and producing buckets and buckets of drool. You wonder what’s going on. Then, you see it—a tiny sliver of white piercing through the gums. You’ve figured out the reason for the saliva and the tears . . . they’re getting their first tooth!
As more teeth continue to grow in, it’s a good idea to take your child to a dentist. You might want to bring them to see your longtime dentist, but there is a huge difference between just any kid-friendly dentist and a certified pediatric dentist. Although it may seem like a good option at first, you’ll actually be doing your child a disservice by taking them to one. Toothfairy Pediatric Dental isn’t simply a kid-friendly dentist, and, no, we’re not just splitting hairs. Take a moment and consider why your child should visit a qualified pediatric dentist.
Why a Kid-Friendly Dentist Isn’t Enough
At first blush, the designation of being “kid-friendly” seems like a good one. Perhaps even the dentist you regularly see advertises that they are kid-friendly. Unfortunately, that’s part of the problem. Unless your dentist is certified for pediatric care, there is no education, training, or regulation associated with the care of your child.
If you’re curious about a local kid-friendly dentist, give them a call and ask them what makes them so friendly to children. Most often, you’ll find that they don’t have a clear answer. Kid-friendly dentists may have some toys in the lobby, a few interesting pictures in the exam rooms, or even an outgoing, friendly dentist who truly loves children. Although all of these things are wonderful, the kid-friendly dentist designation falls far short of the qualifications and expertise of a pediatric dentist.
Why a Pediatric Dentist Is So Important
By their very nature, a pediatric dentist is kid-friendly. However, they’re so much more than that! In fact, there are strict legal guidelines for who can call themselves a pediatric dentist. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, a pediatric dentist must complete an additional 24 months of specialty training in the pediatric field after graduating from dental school. This training must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
When you’re taking your precious little one to a pediatric dentist’s office, you’re not just getting a kid-friendly dentist. Your child will be receiving care from a doctor who has received a minimum of 10 years of education before becoming a pediatric dentist. There’s no substitute for this level of care!
Narrowing the Search for a Pediatric Dentist
Now that you’re looking specifically for pediatric dentists instead of a kid-friendly one, you may wonder how you narrow down your search. There may be dozens in your area to choose from. How do you cut through all the information and shorten your list? There are several things you should do:
- Contact your insurance company: If you have dental insurance, obtain a list of pediatric dentists who are covered by your plan. This is a great place to start as you’ll ensure that you don’t waste time researching a dentist that your insurance won’t cover.
- Ask friends with children: If you have friends or coworkers who have children, ask them where they take their children for their dental care. Often, the best recommendations come from people you trust.
- Check local review sites: You may be able to find helpful reviews of pediatric dentists by checking sites like Google Maps or Yelp. Although you’ll want to take these anonymous reviews with a grain of salt, you can sometimes find overall trends about a practice, both good and bad.
How to Make Your Final Decision
Now that you’ve narrowed down the list to a couple different pediatric dental practices, it’s time to make your final decision. Consider these ways to help you confidently choose the right pediatric dentist for your child:
- Are they taking new patients? Before you go any further, find out if the practices you’re interested in are currently taking new patients. This could make your decision much easier.
- Is the staff helpful? When you call to ask some questions, how were you treated by the receptionists? Since you’ll be dealing with them often for different needs, you’ll want to be comfortable with the team that answers the phone and makes appointments.
- Is the office inviting? Stop by the office and take a look at the lobby. Does it look like a calming space for children? Does it seem like a place where your child will feel comfortable?
- How do they handle emergencies? If your child has a dental emergency, does the practice have after-hours or weekend care? Find out if they have an answering service. If they do, who will see your child in the case of an emergency?
Toothfairy Pediatric Dental is the Right Choice
For those who live in the Reno area, the search for a pediatric dentist is an easy one. Dr. Ben Salar and the team at Toothfairy Pediatric Dental aren’t just kid-friendly, they have the education and expertise to take care of your child’s oral health. Not only that, but their office is warm and inviting to kids. They’ll have so much fun in the lobby they’ll forget they’re at the dentist!
To schedule an appointment at one of our five convenient offices, contact our office by calling (775) 800-4117. You can also fill out our online form and we’ll get in touch with you when it’s convenient for you.
We accept most forms of dental insurance, including Liberty Dental, Humana, and Medicaid. Our Reno office is even open on Saturday! Contact us today so that we can give your child the expert care they deserve.