How do I prepare my child for the first visit to the dentist?

Sherwood Park Dentist - Dentist prepping a child patient for their dental appointment

For your child’s first visit to their Sherwood Park dentist, we recommend starting slow. That means making taking care of your teeth a fun part of the day. Toddlers will enjoy holding their own toothbrush while they brush away with the family and look on with curiosity when brought to a parent’s dental appointment to observe. All the strange noises, smells and sounds of the dental clinic in Sherwood Park won’t seem so overwhelming from the dental chair once they’ve seen Mom or Dad lay back in comfort and open wide. Your dentist in Sherwood Park will be sure to go slow at your child’s first visit and will focus on building rapport and communicating to help your child trust the team (and the process). If at all possible, we strongly recommend that children be seen at least once by their dentist prior to having a procedure performed. This reduces anxiety for the child, and helps the team understand what is important to your child and how to keep them comfortable.

How can I find a dentist near me in Sherwood Park?

Depending upon what kind of dentist you’d like to see, we recommend performing a Google search with precise language. For example, if you are searching for a general dentist near you, you might try the search terms “walk-in dentist near me” or “best dentist near me”. If, however, you’d like to find other specialities, try: “family dentist near me” or “pediatric dentist in Sherwood Park”, for example. If your work schedule limits your daytime availability, try searching “dentist open evenings”. There are many options for dental care for families in Sherwood Park. If your family is looking for a new family dentist in Sherwood Park, consider calling Sherwood Park Dental.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?      

The difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist can be confusing at first but is best understood in terms of business model. To begin with, pediatric dentists (dentists for children) and family dentists undergo the same training to become dentists in Alberta. Because of this, in Alberta, both these professionals are referred to general dentists and we distinguish their specialty in their overall business model.

For a general dentist, specializing is not a required action. A general dentist has the skills to operate on most any patient, and they do not have a preference as to the demographic of patient they serve. Their offices are often very busy, and some have a more transactional feel than would a children’s dentist, who takes extra steps to increase the comfort an experience of their younger clientele.

Both a pediatric and a family dentist is likely to offer a waiting area that has multiple opportunities to engage children. When children are playing or reading, they are less concerned with worrying about their appointment. This also provides an opportunity for parents to get some ‘hands free’ time to fill out any required paperwork while their children are happily occupied.

Both the pediatric and the family dentist will take extra steps to ensure that your young children feel at ease in the office, offering extended appointments as needed for anxious children or children with special needs. Their experience, and the experience of their team, really shines when you see them communicate with children. With a positive experience, these dentists know that they will have happier patients the next time they meet.

The most measurable difference between a family dentist in Sherwood Park and a pediatric dentist is whether or not their patients will ‘age-out’ of the dental practice. While a pediatric dentist is focused on children until they reach the age of majority, your family dental practice will happily continue to treat their patients throughout their adult years and into their golden years, too. No matter the composition of your family, a family dentist is well-positioned to help everyone in your household, where their dental health is concerned.

What is a family dentist and how do they differ from a general dentist?

A family dentist is trained to perform the same procedures as a family dentist, but a family dentist will be more comfortable working with children, seniors, and those with disabilities. That means that their teams are experts at performing precise oral procedures on challenging patients in a manner that is efficient and effective.

How often should I take my family to the dentist?                     

Your dentist will recommend when you should return for more preventative maintenance at your next exam. Typically, we recommend that children as well as adults be seen every six months. This assumes that the teeth and gums are healthy and there are no concerns, like gum disease, that warrant being seen more often. If you have dental insurance, check with your provider to determine what your coverage will allow.

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