A child should begin seeing their pediatric dentist by their first birthday or once their first tooth appears. The sooner you start taking your child to the dentist, the more comfortable they’ll be with the visits and the better their oral hygiene will be. Your child’s dental health is essential, and it’s important that you find the right children’s dentist for their dental needs. 

This is a decision you don’t want to take lightly. It’s important to take your time researching different pediatric dentists near you. How can you be sure you’ll find a reputable pediatric dentist in Austin, TX for your child? 

In the guide below, there are several helpful tips for doing just that. Here’s everything you need to know about selecting the best local pediatric dentist!

Find Referrals/Speak With Other Parents

Sometimes, the best people to give advice about finding a pediatric dentist are other parents. Speak with family members and friends who also have children. Which pediatric dentist do they take their children to? 

Would they recommend this dentist to you and your child? If so, then be sure to ask why. When you get referrals from people you know, it can give you some peace of mind because it’s coming from people you trust. 

Start making a list of pediatric dentists referred to you by other parents. 

Read Online Patient Reviews

You can then research the different dentists on your list. You can also conduct a general internet search for local dentists in Austin, TX. Once you search for them, be sure to read the online patient reviews. 

What are other parents saying about this pediatric dentist? What are some of the good attributes versus the not-so-great ones? If the dentist seems to have several happy patients/parents, then this is a good sign. 

You should then begin furthering your research on these dentists. 

Ask For Proof of Their Credentials 

A pediatric dentist is not the same as a family dentist or general dentist. How do pediatric dentists differ from the others? A pediatric dentist undergoes extra training specifically for providing dental services to children. 

They receive the same dental education as general dentists plus the extra training needed to become a certified/licensed pediatric dentist. Don’t hesitate to ask the dentist for proof of this certification. The dentist should be able to easily provide you with proof of their dental license and qualifications in pediatric dentistry. 

Look Into the Dentist’s Experience

Finding a pediatric dentist with experience is beneficial for both you and your child. You should ask the dentist about their experience as a pediatric dentist. How long have they been practicing pediatric dentistry? 

Can they provide proof of this? How many other children your child’s age has the dentist provided dental care to? Then, be sure to see how long the dentist’s office has been in business and learn more about the dentist’s office by visiting the “About” or “Who We Are” section. 

Schedule a Tour of the Office

Scheduling a tour of the office before your child’s first appointment is a great way to get a feel for the office and how the staff interacts with the patients and parents. You can ask about scheduling a tour of multiple offices before choosing the right one for your child. When touring the office, be sure to bring your child along with you.

Let your child explore the office and become more comfortable with it, so they know what to expect. Pay close attention to how the dentist and staff interact with your child. Does the office environment seem clean and child-friendly? 

Make a list of pros and cons for each office you tour. 

Set up a Consultation With the Dentist

Once you begin to narrow down your options, you should then consider scheduling consultations with the dentists. Setting up consultations is a great way to give your child the opportunity to meet with the dentist and ask questions. Prepare a list of your own questions before the consultation. 

Now is the perfect time to speak with the dentist about any concerns you or your child have. 

Speak With the Dentist About Dental Anxiety

Does your child suffer from dental anxiety? An estimated 9% of children are faced with dental fear or anxiety. If your child has dental anxiety, then this is something you want to speak with the pediatric dentist about. 

A pediatric dentist should be equipped with multiple techniques for reducing this anxiety. Various sedation options may also be available for those children suffering from severe dental anxiety. 

Consider the Location and Office Hours

The location and hours of the dentist’s office you choose are important because you want something that allows you to be flexible when scheduling appointments. How close is the office to your home, job, or child’s school? Do the office hours give you enough time to schedule appointments around your work or child’s school schedule? 

If a dental emergency occurs, does the pediatric dentist offer emergency appointments? Keep these factors in mind when making your selection. 

Take Your Time Choosing a Pediatric Dentist 

As a parent, you don’t take choosing a pediatric dentist for your child lightly. This is a big decision to make and one that takes time. Use all of the helpful information given in this guide above to help you make the best decision possible for you and your child. 

Then, contact Grow Pediatric Dentistry. It’s our highest priority to provide compassionate and expert pediatric care to the Austin, TX area. Contact us today to schedule your child’s first appointment.