Do you remember your family dentist from when you were a child? If you’re of a certain age, your memories are probably of a stern, paternalistic dentist who treated everyone in town and expected children to sit still and be quiet.
Fortunately, those kinds of dentists are the exception, rather than the rule, these days. That’s because modern dentists understand that their younger patients require different treatment than their older patients. They also know that the way they treat children has a major impact on how well they take care of their teeth later in life.
Suffice to say that the selection of a family dentist is a pretty big decision and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. If your family is in the market for a dentist who is going to help instill good dental hygiene habits, here are a few tips to get you started.
Don’t Settle for ‘OK’
There are so many great dentists out there who specialize in working with children and families that there’s no reason to settle for dentist who you aren’t 100% satisfied with. That’s why we strongly urge families to interview more than one dentist before settling on one.
Most dentists offer a free, introductory examination and that’s the perfect time to get a feel for how they work with children. This is also a great time to compare various treatment plans these dentists offer up.
The fact is that some dentists are more aggressive in their long-term plans, while others are more conservative. While both approaches have their merits, the cost difference between them is going to be pretty significant, so you’ll want to know what you’re getting into.
This is What Social Networks are For
One great way of finding good family dentists that wasn’t available to your parents is social media. Your social networks offer an incredibly easy way of soliciting recommendations from people you already know and trust. You’ll be surprised at how a simple posting like, “Does anyone know of a good family dentist in Godley Station, Georgia ?” can yield a ton of great results.
Even better, the recommendations you get from social media come without the bias and silliness you’ll frequently find on sites like Yelp. We don’t recommend taking recommendations, even from close friends, blindly.
In most cases, you’ll want to use those recommendations as a starting point, but still should do your own research.
Searching on Your Own
If you’re searching on your own, be sure you have an idea about how to determine legitimate online reviews from paid reviews. If you see a dentist with lots of reviews that all use the same the phrases over and over, chances are they were written by the same person.
The way your family dentist treats your child today is going to have a massive impact on how he looks at dentists for the rest of his life, so you need to choose wisely. And, so long as you are willing to do your homework, you should have no trouble finding one that fits the bill.