It’s difficult to know where to begin when looking for the best pediatric dentist near you. Decades ago, you would search in the phone book or ask friends and neighbors for their recommendations, but today your first step is likely to be an internet search—and it’s a lot to sort through! We hope you’ll feel that My Town’s Little Dentist is the best pediatric dental practice for your child, but regardless, here’s what you should look for when making this all-important decision.
Dental Care Starting By 12 Months
Every child should see a pediatric dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth, or by the age of 12 months. Although this is the recommendation of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, not all dental practices follow these guidelines, and some will only see children after the age of 2 or even older. Unfortunately, these early years are when teeth are most vulnerable to decay, so waiting until your child is in preschool to see the dentist can mean costly dental issues. It is also important to develop a dental home. This is a place you can go to to answer your questions and have preventive care as well as monitor your child’s dental growth. Catching problems early is always better than playing catch up. Our friendly staff will teach you and your family good habits for life.
If your child does have an emergency, pain, trauma or even just a question it is important to have an established relationship.
Getting your child used to coming to the dentist is also very important. Many parents are worried that a child will not sit or may cry. At our office this often does not happen due to the very child friendly environment and extra training by our doctors and staff. However, it is normal for some children to cry or be upset. Our office is ready, trained, and able to work with these children.
While the thought of sedation dentistry might make you nervous, the most common form of sedation is laughing gas, or nitrous oxide. It’s been used for decades because of its safety and mild sedative effects; your child will be awake and aware of their surroundings, but laughing gas will help them feel relaxed if they’re nervous. Alleviating children’s anxiety helps make sure their experiences at our office are positive ones, but allowing them to stay awake and engaged empowers them to overcome their dental anxiety because they can see that there is nothing to be scared of!
There are also some circumstances in which a deeper form of sedation may be needed, as with children who have special needs or who require extensive dental work. In these situations, we offer IV sedation with a medical anesthesiology team. Providing this service in our office, rather than sending you to a hospital for it as some other dental practices do, makes the experience less traumatic for your child, but because we work with anesthesiologists and use the same equipment used in hospitals, you can rest assured that your child is safe.
No-Shot Laser Dentistry
After all this talk about dental sedation, we should add that we rarely need to use it! That’s because our office has implemented state-of-the-art no-shot laser dentistry, which allows us to perform a number of common dental procedures pain-free. Not only does this mean no sedation is needed, it also means that your child might not need to have local anesthetic injections either! If your child is nervous about needles, finding a pediatric dentist that offers laser dentistry can help their appointments go more smoothly.
When you have kids, you’re juggling a lot—do you really want to have to find a separate orthodontic practice for your child and have to facilitate communication between their office and ours, fill out more new patient forms, and have to drive to another office every few weeks? We didn’t think so! Look for a pediatric dentist near you that has orthodontists on staff so your child can get complete dental care all under one roof. We’re pleased to offer early orthodontic treatment, as well as orthodontics for teens and adults, at My Town’s Little Dentist.