Having a dentist is important. By booking regular appointments with your dentist, you can reduce your chances of developing oral health problems. Your dentist can also detect a variety of different illnesses at their earliest stages.
In other words, your dentist is an important part of your healthcare team.
That’s true for your kids, too. When children start visiting the dentist at a young age, they begin developing the right oral health habits earlier. Dentists can also ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy, and provide the same preventive and restorative care they provide to adults.
But this article isn’t about why having a dentist is important. It’s about why having a family dentist is important.
We’re going to explain what a family dentist is, and how they can improve treatment for your whole family. Let’s take a look!
What is a family dentist?
A family dentist is, quite simply, a dentist who treats your entire family. They’re kind of like a family doctor.
Family dentists typically work regular hours – 5 days a week, and about 8 hours a day. That makes it easier for families to schedule regular appointments with them. They’ll typically work in a regular dental clinic – it’s rare to find family dentists in 24 hour emergency dental clinics.
So family dentists treat your whole family – simple enough. But what are the advantages of having one dentist for the whole family?
Family dentists can reduce dental anxiety
Dental anxiety is common in both adults and kids. Children will commonly pick up on the anxieties that their parents have. They may also become more anxious if the dentist is a stranger, and if they don’t go to the dentist regularly.
When you have a family dentist, you have a medical professional whom you see regularly. You’ll develop a relationship with them as they get to know your entire family. That can seriously reduce anxiety – it’s helpful to have a friend, not a stranger, taking care of you.
That means your kids will feel less anxious, too. They might even be able to watch you get a cleaning or other treatment before it’s their turn – then they’ll see it’s not so bad! Talk to your dentist before doing that, of course.
The point is, a familiar face can really help everyone feel more comfortable. And comfort is what you want when you’re in the dental chair!
Family dentists are more convenient
Get your whole clan in the car, drive to the dental office, and get all of your dental appointments done in one afternoon.
That’s one of the most beautiful things about having a family dentist. You can set one afternoon aside and take everyone to the same clinic. Family dentists will often have a day with several free appointment slots that can be booked by the whole family. That means there’s no more need to drive to 3 different places for 3 separate appointments.
Family dentists know your family – and your family’s dental history
Some dental problems are related to genetics. When one member of the family has crooked teeth, an overbite, or other bite-related concerns, it’s more likely their relatives will have a similar dental concern.
Family dentists can watch for these sorts of things.
They can also keep treating family members from the time they’re toddlers to the time they’re adults. That means they’ll be able to keep tracking your family’s medical history, which can lead to early interventions when illnesses pop up. It can also mean more personalized preventive care.
How to find the right family dentist
Now that you know some of the many advantages of a family dentist, you’ll want to find the right one. It can be hard to know how to find the right dentist – there are just so many!
Start with a meet and greet. Bring your kids. See how the dentist interacts with them. Take a tour of the office. Meet the hygienists. Feel things out. Some regions have a fee guide, so price is often the same from dentist to dentist. How personable they are matters a lot.
On the medical side, you should check reviews. See how often patients are satisfied with their work.
Take your time to find the right family dentist – this is a relationship that you want to last for life.
Family dentists are great! They can reduce anxiety and improve your family’s oral health, all while being more convenient than having several dentists. When you find a good one, you’ll be happy you put the work in. Best of luck on your search!