Did you know that children should ideally check in with an orthodontist no later than 7 years old?
The majority of children who get braces get them between the ages of 9 and fourteen, when they have enough permanent teeth to house braces. Plus, this head start grants your orthodontist more control over the state of your child’s teeth, allowing them to take action early—some even preventatively. Often, your dentist is an excellent resource for evaluating whether a child needs an orthodontist.
That may leave you Googling phrases like, “best pediatric dentist and orthodontist near me.” Who can you entrust with your child’s oral health and care? What should you look for when comparing your options?
We break it down in this transparent guide. Keep reading, parents.
First, the Obvious: Does the Practice Do Dentistry and Orthodontics?
Dentists and orthodontists have similar foundational training. Both can diagnose things like cavities or gum disease and repair issues like cracked teeth or give filling. Both treat a variety of oral health conditions.
Orthodontists can do something else, though—ensure the correct alignment of the teeth and jaw.
They can observe and monitor the growth of the jawline and bite in children while diagnosing various issues like misaligned jaws or teeth. They also help to create an efficient treatment plan that might include anything from braces and retainers to surgery. Finally, orthodontists can install a wide variety of dental appliances such as Herbst appliances, palatal expanders, and more.
So, the best bet for you as a parent is to find a practice that specializes in both. Not only is this plan more well-rounded, but it’s convenient, too. As any parent knows, the easier it is to make appointments, the better!
Ask Other Parents for Recommendations, and Don’t Neglect to Peruse Reviews
Testimonials from other patients are a fantastic reference tool when looking for the best pediatric dentist nearby. When you speak with other parents—such as those from your children’s school—you’ll hear about their experiences, whether good or bad. Word-of-mouth is a wonderful tactic for finding a dentist or orthodontist you can trust.
Online reviews are a great substitute (or redundancy) for this step. You can, and should, check out the reviews of any local dentist before making an appointment. What do previous clients have to say about the success of their treatment? How well did that dentist work with their child—helping to eliminate fear and encourage healthy habits?
The internet is rife with this information, so don’t be afraid to use it. In fact, your review may be just as valuable someday, so consider leaving one if you’ve enjoyed your experience!
Consider Your Budget and Their Accepted Insurance Providers
This step is an important one, as working within your budget is crucial when considering dentistry and orthodontics. Braces are not exactly cheap—but affordable dentistry does exist. One of the best ways to protect yourself from unexpected costs is to figure out insurance ahead of time.
At Park Place, we accept several insurances, from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and MetLife, to Delta Dental and Assurant. Find an orthodontist or dentist that works with several plans, which could be helpful in the event you ever change providers, too.
Wait—what if you don’t have dental insurance? What are your options?
In that case, it’s essential to find a dentist that offers alternative solutions, such as payment plans and flexible payment options. At Park Place, we offer CareCredit—a payment plan that comes in a variety of lengths for your convenience and has little to no interest attached.
Every child deserves a smile they can be proud of, and if your prospective dentist agrees, you’ll notice that they’ll take measures to make that happen.
Look for Extra Perks, Such as Board-Certified Dentists
Let’s be honest—you’re not here to find just any dentist. After all, dentists are abundant!
What you’re really after is the best pediatric dentist—which is why we recommend you look for one that’s board-certified. Why does this matter? What benefit does that have to patients?
For one, board certification isn’t necessary to be a dentist. With that being said, you can assume that any dentist has undergone this additional training out of pure passion and willingness to learn and serve. Board-certified dentists must go above and beyond the call of duty and go through extra training.
It’s also worth noting that this additional training isn’t a one-and-done situation. Board-certified dentists need to renew their certificates regularly, prompting them to keep learning new things! This commitment to lifelong learning will truly shine through at your dentist appointment—there’s no substitute for expertise or experience.
Other perks include a fun, warm, and welcoming demeanor that allows your child to relax and feel comfortable. Many children have that fear of the dentist, and a great pediatric dentist will do all they can to lessen that. During your consultation, observe the way the dentist interacts with your child and how their “adult” information can translate into a kid-friendly conversation.
Ever Wondered, “How Can I Find a Pediatric Dentist and Orthodontist Near Me?”
If so, we hope this guide answered your question. And if you have any more, we’re happy to help.
You’ll never again have to Google “best pediatric dentist and orthodontist near me” again. Instead, give us at Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontists a call to set up an appointment. We offer kid-friendly care throughout the Arlington and Hurst areas.