When it comes to your children, introducing them to a dentist can be a challenge. Often the younger they are, the more afraid they become, which can impact their relationship with dentists as they get older. The British Dental Association suggests that it’s best for children to have a first visit to a dentist by their first birthday. This is so they can become accustomed to the dentist but also the overall experience.
In fact, it’s actually a great way to get your children relaxed about seeing a dentist, which in turn means they’ll have a much more positive impression as they get older – which can only result in better oral health.
Much of the UK’s dentistry where children are concerned is carried out within general practice. However, it’s not always the case, especially where you may have children with teeth issues (for example the need for braces).
Finding the right dentist for your children
The best piece of advice here is to ask friends and family if they have recommendations. It’s always best to get real-life feedback from people for anything and it’s especially important where dentists are concerned.
If you don’t know any friends or family with dentists they recommend then look online. Reviews and ratings are a good start, but so is a call to the dentists to ask questions. However, bear in mind online reviews can be faked and just because someone doesn’t have any reviews does not automatically mean they aren’t good.
One of the most important things to check is of course the dentist’s accreditation and credentials. You can go to the General Dental Council for information about this.
All dentists need to have a license to practice in the UK but as well as this, they also need excellent skills and qualifications. Therefore, it’s best to see what their specialisms are.
Look out for a welcome!
A good dentist will have a welcoming waiting area, with activities for children and adults (magazines for example). It should also feel like a warm atmosphere, because this will give you an inkling for the kind of place it is.
It’s also a good idea to try the dentist out of course. In short, if you’re happy then keep going. If you’re not, you’re entitled to look elsewhere. Never feel pressured into accepting things if you’re not happy with the dentist, as this will only transfer to your children and make them anxious.