A young child with a beautiful smile.

The dentist’s office is a common fear for children, but regular visits are important to keep their teeth healthy. One way to reduce your child’s anxiety around dental visits is to choose a practice that makes them feel comfortable. If you’re searching for the right dentist for your kids, try these four tips to help you find a practice that’s child-friendly, provides quality care and fits your budget.

Consider Your Child’s Needs

Every child has different needs, so choose a dentist that suits your kid’s personality. Some children may prefer a dentist who cracks jokes and entertains them, while others want a calming presence. For children with autism or other special needs, it’s important to find a dentist who has experience with their disorder in a sensory friendly office. Make sure the practice provides things like noise-cancelling headphones and fidget objects to help keep your child comfortable.

Ask Your Dental Insurance Provider

You don’t want to be out an arm and a leg for your kid’s teeth, so check with your insurance provider before booking an appointment. Most insurance companies offer a list of providers online, or you can call and ask for recommendations. If you need a medicaid dentist for your child, request a referral from their caseworker.

Research the Practice

Although most dentists are trustworthy, it’s still important to do some research before taking your child to a new provider. Make sure the dentist is fully accredited and licensed to practice in your state. Looking up reviews on the practice’s website and social media accounts lets you know what other patients are saying, while searching for news articles about the practice can alert you to serious problems.

Schedule a Consultation

No one wants to get their teeth drilled and filled by a dentist they just met, so start off slow with a simple consultation visit. Bring your child in just to meet the dentist and get familiar with the office and the staff. The dentist may do a quick visual inspection or count your child’s teeth to help them settle in. If your child seems uncomfortable with the practice for any reason, don’t be afraid to choose another.

Does your child show extreme anxiety around dental visits? Try preparing them by practicing at home with mock dental visits, or encourage them to play dentist using stuffed toys and dolls. Everything can help your child get used to going to the dentist.