Parents should take their children to the dentist by the time of their first birthday or by the time they get their first tooth. But the question is, should your child see a general dentist or a pediatric dentist?

There are many benefits of seeing a pediatric dentist, but what are they and why does it matter? In this article, you’ll learn more about pediatric dentistry, why your child should see a pediatric dentist, and how to find the best pediatric dentist. 

Keep reading to learn all about pediatric dentistry for your child. 

What Is Pediatric Dentistry?

Every student that enters dental school works towards becoming a licensed general dentist. However, if you want to specialize in a certain field, this takes more educational hours, training, and skill. General dentists graduate with the ability to see any patient, but usually adults. 

Pediatric dentistry is a type of specialization that caters to young children, usually from birth until the age of 18. Dental students spend more time in school, about two more years, learning about pediatric dentistry so they can provide a specialized service for patients. They also see pediatric patients with special needs like ADHD, diabetes, heart defects, asthma, and more. 

Pediatric dentists only see children and not adults. If you’re wanting your entire family to visit one dentist, a pediatric dentist only treats children. 

Benefits of Seeing A Pediatric Dentist

Taking your child to a general dentist is fine, but a pediatric dentist is a better choice for several reasons. Here are some pediatric dentist benefits. 

Your child receives specialized care from a pediatric dentist. Because pediatric dentists understand child development on a deeper level, both physically and behaviorally, they have the skills to make your child feel comfortable and receive a more accurate diagnosis if there’s a problem.

They’re better prepared to work with emotional regulations that might occur during your appointment, especially if your child has a fear of the dentist. 

A pediatric dentist also understands jaw and tooth development in children. Because of this, your pediatric dentist makes suggestions about what type of treatment works best if your child needs it. 

Pediatric dental offices are set up to meet the needs of children. They have equipment designed for pediatric patients, and their decor stimulates children. The office may have play areas, wall decor, aquariums, and more to help children feel at ease in an unknown environment or to keep them occupied while they wait. 

When you find a good pediatric dentist in Kentuckiana, your child will likely visit them twice a year throughout adolescence until adulthood. Having a pediatric dentist see your child for several years establishes a history with them and a certain level of comfort and expectation. 

Pediatric dentists offer services similar to general dentists. You can expect them to offer services like sedation, sealants, cleaning, screenings, fillings, and more. However, these services are set up for pediatric patients only. 

Because pediatric dentists have a better understanding of the dental diseases that happen to children, they know the risks that might impact your children’s dental health. They can make suggestions to improve your child’s dental health so large problems don’t arise. 

Oral education is important for parents and children and pediatric dentists have the skill to teach this in an age-appropriate way. They also make diet recommendations and coach your children and you, on how to best take care of your child’s teeth. 

If your child is ready for orthodontic work, your pediatric dentist may provide that in their office, or they’ll refer an orthodontist to you that they believe works best with children.

Choosing A Pediatric Dentist

When it comes to choosing the best pediatric dentist you want to know what to look for. Here are some tips for finding a pediatric dentist that works for you. 

Ask for referrals. If you see a general dentist, ask for a recommendation for a pediatric dentist, or ask your pediatrician. Many dentists and doctors network with each other and are happy to make recommendations for other practices. 

Dental injuries like chipped or broken teeth happen frequently in children. These instances may need emergency care, so having a pediatric dental with emergency hours is helpful. Emergency hours help to avoid having to take your child to the emergency room. 

Ideally, you’ll want to find a location that’s close to you, like a pediatric dentist in Mt. Washington. This is especially true if you have multiple children that need appointments, as it cuts down on the inconvenience of driving farther many times. 

Ask friends and family who they see and get their opinion. Sometimes the best word-of-mouth referrals come from people you know and trust. Also, read testimonials from patients online written on web pages other than the pediatric dentist’s page. 

Schedule a consultation. A consultation is one of the best ways to get a feel for the personality and demeanor of the dentist. You’ll see the dental office, meet the staff, and get a general feel for how they run the practice. 

You’ll want to see a pediatric dentist with board certification. Board certification means the pediatric dentist meets high-quality standards for care, passing rigorous exams and taking extra training. You can be sure that your child is in good hands with a board-certified pediatric dentist. 

Are You Looking For A Pediatric Dentist?

Taking your children to a pediatric dentist prepares them for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Because of every child’s uniqueness when it comes to dental health, a pediatric dentist has the training and skills to meet your child’s needs. 

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in Kentuckiana? Contact our office today to get your child scheduled for their first appointment.