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What to Look for in a Dental Office for Your Child

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When you are looking for a great dentist for your kids, you also need to look for an office with kid-friendly dental professionals. The entire staff needs to be kid-oriented as does the waiting room. When shopping for a dentist, look at several important factors.

Waiting Room

A dentist whose practice is aimed at children will have a waiting room that is designed to entertain young patients with a multitude of games, movies, and books. The point is to make a trip to the dentist comparable to a play date instead of a medical appointment. Overkill in this area is permissible. Dentists should provide toys or distractions that lessen your child's anxiety stopping short of a carnival ride or a petting zoo.

Dental Hygienist

Since the dental hygienist takes patient history, they are the first person your child will really interact with. A good pediatric hygienist will take the time to put your child at ease while taking a patient history and completing basic cleaning and exam tasks. They will instruct your child in proper brushing and flossing techniques and give them information on a healthy diet. Of course, everything should be delivered at the child's age level in a non-threatening way. If your dentist does not have a highly-trained and personable dental hygienist, the entire experience could be a negative one for your child. 


All dentists should be skilled with children, but you may want to choose a pediatric dentist, one who is specially trained to meet the needs of children. A good pediatric dentist has a variety of techniques at their disposal to help children relax. They are good at showing children exactly what they will be doing and then distracting them with conversation and other methods while they perform the procedure. Many have been trained to use their voices to help calm young children during the visit, and they also provide positive reinforcement whenever possible. A successful visit ends with a smiling child holding stickers and other "rewards" for good behavior.  

When you are looking for a dentist for your children, take the time to visit the office, examine the waiting room, and evaluate the staff. Some excellent dentists are geared more toward adults than children. They may be a fine choice for you, but your kids will do better with professionals who specialize in the needs of the younger crowd. If the dentist office is a friendly place, children are more likely to be regular visitors even when they are grown. 

You may also want to consider family dentists, such as Legacy Dental Arts, to cover every member of your family in one convenient place.