If you are a new parent, then your baby’s health is your number one priority over everything else in your life.
While you’ve likely done your research into food, vitamins, vaccinations and anti-bacterial bedding, few think of dental care as an immediate concern for their baby due to their lack of visible teeth. However, even in the early stages of life, dental care is important and finding a pediatric dentist who can spot and prevent early dental problems will secure your child’s oral health for years to come.
Here is what you should know about getting a pediatric dentist for your infant.
Just because you can’t see your child’s teeth, doesn’t mean that they aren’t affecting their health. During the early years of their lives, children see the world through their mouth (which is why they’re always shoving things into it.) Their mouths are extremely sensitive, and with their compromised immune systems, they are susceptible to gum infections.
Not only can that, but the alignment of babies’ teeth within the gums determine how they grow in. Teeth that are overcrowded or pointed the wrong way when they come through the gums can cause serious pain during the teething stage, which can lead to your child having difficulty eating, sleeping, and suffering from significant distress.
The teething stage is also important for a dentist to monitor, as your child’s finger-sucking habits can affect how the teeth grow in and lead to the need for orthodontic correction later on in life. Getting your child’s teeth checked and monitored by a professional at all stages of life is essential to their current wellbeing and their future development.
The first place you should look at finding a pediatric dentist is your local directory service. Depending on where you live, your government website might have a city or county list of certified dentists in your area that specialize in infant care. This will give you a great starting list from which to begin your research.
Not all pediatric dentists will treat children under a certain age, so you’ll want to call the dentist in question when going through directories to ensure that they are up to date and that the dentist does, in fact, treat infants.
Word of Mouth
Even for something as basic and essential as dental exams, you want a dentist you can trust with the proper diagnosis and treatment of your child.
Ask people who you know will give you their honest opinion, good or bad. This should include close friends, coworkers, clients, and especially family members, because they can give you their first-hand experience in personal detail. You can also call the dentists you are considering and ask for references, and any professional clinic will be happy to provide you with previous clients that can vouch for their services.
Certifications and Ratings
As mentioned before, not all pediatric dentists are specially equipped for infant care. Make sure they have the right medical and specialty certifications, and that they are up to date paying their board fees, to ensure that your child is being seen by a true professional that will be familiar with the common problems faced by infants in their teething stages.
Be sure to look into reviews online, as well, to see what previous clients have said about their practice and their professionalism before making any final decisions.
How They Handle the Initial Consultation
The true litmus test of the right medical professional to deal with your baby’s dental health is going to be your first meeting. Ask a lot of questions; they should be able to provide you with satisfactory answers to all questions related to your child’s oral development, maintenance, as well as their pricing and services.
Also keep an ear out for what kind of questions they have for you. Make sure that they are someone who will take your child’s full medical history into account before making decisions, and who knows what to ask to ensure your child is getting the best care.
Getting your child the best healthcare possible is something that every parent wants. Dental health, in particular, should not be overlooked, as it can directly impact your child’s health and development. It can be challenging to find the best pediatric dentist, especially one that specializes in infant care. However, there are many resources available online and among your peers that will help you find the best fit for your family.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons, and appreciates the services of Royal Oak Dental. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.