Choosing between a general and pediatric dentist

by MikeMeehan 2/14/2019 8:35 AM

When looking for a dentist for your children, it can be tough to know who to see. Should you search for a general family dentist or would your children benefit from pediatric care? You can’t go wrong either way, but it’s good to have all the facts before you make a decision. SimilaritiesBoth accredited general and pediatric dentists have the training necessary to offer a high level of care to children. If you have an existing relationship with a family dentist you trust to provide quality care, that dentist can be a great option for your littlest family members.  DifferencesWhile general dentistry training covers dental care for children, pediatric dentists spend at least two additional years studying how to care for younger patients. Once they have completed their training, they provide primary and specialty care for children only. As a result, they have smaller equipment specifically designed for children’s mouths. These are especially helpful when children need more complicated dental care such as root canals. Special needsPediatric dentists are also a great option for addressing certain needs children may have. Some kids have particularly high levels of dental anxiety. While general dentists often provide assistance with this anxiety, pediatric dentists may be specially equipped to reduce anxiety for children with toys or music that help them relax. They’re also trained to provide care for children with special needs like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, learning disabilities and others. These conditions can be associated with dental problems such as gum disease, so oral health care is especially important. Dental benefitsIf you’ve decided to visit a pediatric dentist, learn how your dental benefits apply. Some plans limit referrals to specialists or may require you to have a referral from your general dentist. Others allow families to maintain a pediatric dentist as their primary dentist. Check your plan to make sure. In any case, visit a specialist that participates in your plan’s network. Delta Dental’s website allows you to search for in-network specialists close to you. Whether you choose a general or pediatric dentist, scheduling the first visit early is crucial. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all babies see the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth but no later than their first birthday. Keep your children smiling into adulthood by finding a dentist you trust today.

Calming your kids at the dentist

by MikeMeehan 10/10/2018 9:09 AM

One of the most important ways to keep your kids cavity free, especially during the season of sweets, is to see the dentist regularly. Routine checkups and cleanings are completely covered by most dental plans, so there’s no reason to skip a visit.  There’s one deterrent, though, that you might run into – kids getting spooked by the dentist. If this happens to your children, check out our tips to help make their next appointment a little easier.  Start early. The American Dental Association recommends children visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth or by age 1. Early visits give kids a chance to become familiar with the dentist and may help reduce anxiety down the road.  Lead by example. If you’re nervous about the dentist, your kids might pick up on it and adopt the same attitude. According to a study in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, adults can transfer their dental fears to family members. Make a conscientious effort to demonstrate a positive attitude toward the dentist while articulating the value of regular visits. By modelling relaxed behavior, you can let your kids know there’s nothing to be afraid of.  Leverage entertainment. Reshape their attitudes with the power of the page. Pick up library books that explain dental appointments in kid-friendly language. Popular options include Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey, Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer and Open Wide: School Tooth Inside by Laurie Keller. To build even more positive associations with the dentist, try bringing their favorite toy or game to appointments.  Take baby steps. Stop by the dental office beforehand so your kids learn what to expect in a lower-pressure situation. Introducing them to the dentist and staff without the stakes of an actual appointment can help them feel more comfortable in the environment.  Practice beforehand. Create a mock dental visit in your own home to remove any confusion they have about what happens in the dental chair. Pretend to clean your child’s teeth while explaining how visiting the dentist helps keep their smiles in tip-top shape.  Use relaxation techniques. If you’ve tried everything and your kids still get the heebie-jeebies in the dental chair, don’t fear! Try calming them down with some simple relaxation exercises. Instruct your child to inhale and exhale slowly and steadily. You can also try a technique where they tense different muscle groups as tight as can be, then release.  It may take some time, but helping your children feel comfortable at the dentist will make lifelong dental care much easier in the long run. 

Navigate Your Claim in 3 Easy Steps

by Jason 9/24/2015 7:00 AM

From finding a moment in your already busy schedule to taking time off of work and scheduling follow-up appointments, the last thing you need to worry about after a dentist appointment is the status of your benefit claim.... more...


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