When Should My Child Switch Dentists?

There are many reasons your child might need to switch dental offices. One of the biggest reasons is age. Many kids go to family or pediatric dental offices that are designed for children from the training that the team has to the chairs in the exam rooms to the aesthetic and personality of the office. But there are some other key reasons to consider a change. If a kid really doesn’t like the dental office, there might be a time and a place to tell them to be brave, and there might be a time and a place to consider looking for a different dentist. In this article, we will cover reasons your child might need to switch dentists. If you are looking for a family dentist in Chicago, please give us a call. 

a child smiling in a dental chair

Is My Child Too Old For The Family Dentist?

That depends on a few things. First and foremost, different dental offices have different styles and preferences when it comes to the age range they treat. For example, some dental offices don’t treat patients younger than 18 or 16 years old. Other offices might base it less on a hard rule and more on a general feeling of whether or not a teenager is ready to transition to an adult dental practice. Either way the two things to consider are what ages a dentist works with and how your child feels about their current dentist. Unfortunately, for a lot of teens most of the benefits of a family dental office are drawbacks when they are teenagers. Bright colors, toys, stuffed animals, and a staff trained to work with young kids are necessary and extremely helpful for kids from age 3 to 13, but they can feel almost condescending or belittling when a kid becomes a teenager. Beyond the aesthetic of a dental office, chairs in treatment rooms might not be the right size for older teens. On top of that your teenager might just prefer a more straight forward no-nonsense approach to dentistry at a certain point. 

On top of that, you might want to look for an adult dental practice that is more equipped to help with adult dental concerns like wisdom tooth removal, orthodontics, etc. If your child is telling you that they are ready and interested in switching to a more adult dental practice, you can always ask the dental office you are currently working with for their recommendation. 

What Do I Do If My Child Doesn't Like The Dentist

One of the most important things you can do as a parent if your child doesn’t like their dentist is listen to them. Dental anxiety or fear is extremely common, and if the reasons your child doesn’t like the dentist are because they don’t like dentists in general you should work with your children and the dentist to try and alleviate that fear and anxiety. A good family dentist has trained in not just dental services but also working with kids. They are able to communicate effectively and make changes as necessary to help kids feel comfortable. 

To that point, see if you can stay with your child during the exam. Being there with your kids can help them feel more comfortable but it can also help you understand where their fears or anxiety are stemming from. Sometimes kids just need things to slow down or need some level of control during the dental visit to feel more comfortable. For example, some dentists will tell their kid to raise a hand or a finger if they need the dentist to slow down or stop during a cleaning. 

If you feel like the dentist isn’t a good fit for your child or that the dentist isn’t listening or helping your child, you should consider looking into other dentists. When looking for a family dentist, we recommend getting referrals from friends and coworkers or reading through reviews. It is important to note what is said in positive and negative reviews online. More than just how many stars a dentist has, it can be helpful to look for signs that a dentist is caring and patient or vice versa.

Family Dentist in Chicago

If you need to see a family dentist in the Chicago area, we would be happy to help. Contact us today for more information about dental care services in Chicago.