If you have a child younger than 12 months, it’s important to start establishing a healthy relationship between the child and their dentist. The dental home is this consistent relationship between the dentist and the patient, ensuring that all oral health and hygiene aspects are properly taken care of. Establishing a dental home is the first and best way to prevent future oral health issues, and ensure that some form of treatment will be in place to take care of issues as they arise.
Understanding that a dental home is necessary for a child to have proper oral health care is one thing, but actually setting up a healthy dental home can be a little more tricky. Here are some of our tips!
- Insurance, insurance, insurance. One of the toughest parts of setting up appointments at a new dentist is ensuring that your insurance is valid at that practice. Be sure to call ahead and check whether or not the practice accepts your insurance, and inquire what the copays might look like, especially if you’re tight on money.
- Ask people you know and trust to refer you to a dentist. Whether this be from your best friend or your own physician, people who have first hand experience with the practice you’re looking into will be your best source of information. Choosing someone focused on continuing education and who is cautious in setting up safety plans for oral health issues is a great way to find someone who will treat your child’s oral health care as their priority.
- Research the practice’s values and offerings. Look into what kind of experience the practice provides. Going to the dentist isn’t the most fun activity for kids, so it’s important to look for someone who provides a fun meaningful experience for your child. Ensure that they use the best practices possible in treating your child, and that their values and mission match up with yours.
- Communicate with the dentist personally. The best way to get to know someone is to talk with them and ask questions directly. Schedule a pre visit with them and bring your child to discuss how the dental home would function going into the future. Assess the organization and protocols of the practice, and ensure that it’s something you’re satisfied with.