How to find the best pediatric dentist near me for my little one’s first dental visit

First Dental Visit at Pediatric Dentist

You just left your child’s 12-month well-child checkup, and the pediatrician suggested it’s time for you to ask friends for a recommendation or hop online to find the best pediatric dentist near me so they can make their first dental visit.

But, “Twelve months?”—you think—“there’s, like, only two teeth. Why so early?”

Keep reading to learn why it’s crucial for your child to go to the dentist for the first time at 12 months. Plus, find out how establishing a “dental home” is the first step you can take to ensure your child has healthy baby teeth.

What is a dentist for babies called?

A dentist specializing in treating babies, toddlers, kids, and teens is called a pediatric dentist.

Pediatric dentistry is child first, teeth second.

At the best pediatric dental offices, the environment is explicitly designed around the needs and comfort of children and adolescents. Its atmosphere will be charged with rainbows, glitter dust, and joy–while maybe smelling sort of like toothpaste, too.

Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist?

Pediatric dentists complete an extra two to three years of specialty training (usually in a children’s hospital setting). 

That additional education encompasses caring for all types of children with varying medical conditions and social and emotional histories catering to their specific oral care needs.

But, should my one-year-old really go to the dentist?

Making an appointment to see a dentist for a kid who has so few teeth can feel earlier than necessary, but establishing a pediatric dental home for your one-year-old child offers many benefits, including:

  • Preventative oral hygiene and age-appropriate health care instructions
  • Recommendations for picking out toothpaste and a toothbrush
  • Dietary guidelines for help establishing a healthy, balanced diet
  • Expert pediatric dental care assistance during emergencies

Emergency dental care for the smallest children

Do you hold your breath as your brand-new walker precariously teeters when taking small steps? Do you start to panic when your little one nearly jolts themselves out of their bouncer?

The majority of all emergency calls that we receive at Growing Grins come from parents of young children who have fallen and hit their front teeth, mouth, or lips. When your child has just suffered any oral trauma, you don’t want to have to spend any time googling “pediatric dentist near me.” 

Once your one-year-old child has a dental home, their pediatric dentist becomes that someone you can call, well, when you need someone to call—and, parents know what I’m talking about!

Establishing a pediatric dental home gives you access to an expert that you can call right away for guidance. Your one-year-old’s pediatric dentist will provide you with all of the information you need to provide the best possible dental care for your child.

Pediatric dental emergencies sometimes happen after hours

If your child has an accident after hours, it’s no problem once you are an established patient at a pediatric dental practice. 

Having a dental home for your one-year-old child means their pediatric dentist will provide you with “in case of emergency” after-hours instructions, so you never have to go it alone.

How to find the best pediatric dentist

Ready to find a pediatric dental home for your one-year-old child? Many resources are available to help guide you once you know what to look for.

Experience is one of the most important factors to consider. The best pediatric dentists and their staff will be trained in the most up-to-date modalities for successful pediatric dental care. They’ll possess a depth of knowledge that only comes with years of exclusively treating children.

Resources for evaluating kids’ dentists

There are many different ways to find pediatric dentist options to assess for your child’s first visit to dental checkup. 

Here are three of the most popular ways to find the best pediatric dentist near you:

  1. Join a community-specific Facebook group. Many groups on Facebook are devoted to helping local moms, dads, guardians, grandparents, foster parents, and other caregivers share resources and recommendations. If you find one in your area, join the online community, then make a quick post requesting help to find the best “pediatric dentist near me” is draw out advice from others nearby.
  2. Ask your one-year-old child’s pediatrician for recommendations. Your general dentist may also be willing to give you a referral for an experienced, trustworthy pediatric dentist.
  3. Look at online reviews and websites of potential pediatric dental offices. Checking each practice’s social media channels is a great way to informally get a feel for what it’s like to be their patient. Unsure where to start? Use the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Find a Dentist tool to locate a provider near you.


Schedule your child’s first dental appointment

Every little kid is different, but—for most—their baby teeth begin to come in between six and 12 months. That’s why starting routine dental care once your child reaches their first birthday is the ideal time to schedule their first dental appointment.

Make sure your one-year-old’s smile stays strong and healthy

Growing Grins Pediatric Dentistry, a top-rated dentist for kids in Westfield, is now accepting new patients. We invite you and your one-year-old to come in and see our kids’ dentist team for a first visit.

Our team can’t wait to help your child’s small smile bloom.

Call our office at 317-896-9600 to schedule an appointment, or use our online form to request a visit and tell us a bit about your child.

Request an appointment

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