While you should start scheduling your child’s first dental appointment by the age of one, sometimes it can be hard to decide whether you take them to a general dentist or a pediatric dentist. 

Choosing pediatric dentistry over general dentistry has many benefits, but what are they? In this article, you’ll learn more about dentistry for kids, and why seeing a kids’ dentist might work for you and your child. 

Pediatric Dentist vs General Dentist

A pediatric dentist and a general dentist both see children, but there are a few differences. A pediatric dentist specializes in the care of children and likely has specialized knowledge, education, and skills to give children the best dental care possible. 

On the other hand, a general dentist does see children and people of all ages, but may also see the whole family as well. For some families, this offers convenience, but for others who need additional care, a pediatric dentist might be the answer. 

Here are some advantages of pediatric dentistry and why you should consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist. 

1. More Knowledge

Both general and pediatric dentists undergo years of school and training. However, to specialize in a certain area like pediatrics, they attend an additional two or three years of school. They learn about the complexities of the growth of children, child behavior, and are able to treat and see children with special needs. 

This extra training allows them to understand children and offer services you may not find with a general dentist. 

2. Only See Children

As the name suggests, pediatric dentists only see children ages 0-18. This might fluctuate depending on the dentist’s preference, but generally speaking, most pediatric dentists see children of all ages. Once your child is over the age of 18, they can see a general or family dentist. 

3. Suited For Specialties

If your child has a particular dental issue that only occurs in childhood, such as thumb or finger sucking, using a pacifier, or other dental problems, pediatric dentists usually have training and knowledge to inform and educate the parent about how to resolve the issue. Because they understand more about child behavior, they can offer tips or tricks to ensure your child’s mouth and teeth are growing at a healthy pace. 

4. Inviting Offices

When you’re taking your child to the dentist, you want to ensure they’re comfortable. Some children may have a fear or uncertainty about going to the dentist. While it’s important to prepare your child well for their first dental visits and upcoming ones, sometimes going into the office itself can be a bit unnerving. 

Pediatric dental offices provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere that’s designed to put children at ease. There might be toys in the waiting area, character decals on the wall, and friendly staff. 

5. Open to Parents

At first, you might have a lot of questions about your child’s teeth and their growth. Because pediatric dentists have specialized training and knowledge, they’ll understand your questions from a different angle than a general dentist. You can feel confident that they have your child’s best interest and know the route to take to ensure that your child will get the care they need. 

6. Education

Teaching your child to brush their teeth isn’t always a picnic, especially if they’re young. A pediatric dentist can speak to your child in a way that helps them understand the importance of dental care and dental education. Things like brushing their teeth twice a day, eating healthy foods, flossing if necessary, and so forth. 

7. Special Needs

For children with special needs, you’ll almost always want to inquire about a pediatric dentist. This is because they understand an array of special needs and how they can make them more comfortable when they’re in the dentist’s chair. If you have a child with special needs, contact your pediatric dental office to see how they can assist you and your family. 

How to Choose A Dentist

Choosing a pediatric dentist may seem tricky at first, but there are some tips you need to consider. Here are some ways to help you choose a pediatric dentist. 

Do your research! Check out the local pediatric dentist’s office in your area and read the testimonials. You can also call the office with any particular questions you might have. 

Ask around. If you know families that have children, ask them what they think about their experience with a pediatric dentist and who they’d recommend. Nothing is better than word-of-mouth advertising and experience. 

Another person you could ask is your pediatrician or your general dentist. Oftentimes, medical professionals will collaborate and recommend each other for certain specialties. It’s highly likely that your child’s pediatrician or dentist can give you the name of a pediatric dentist. 

When you find a pediatric dentist that you’re interested in, schedule a consultation. This is the best way to meet the dentist, get a feel for the office and the staff, and make your decision. Most pediatric dental offices offer consultations.

Is Pediatric Dentistry Right For You?

When you’re thinking about dentistry for kids, it might be in your child’s best interest to visit a pediatric dentistry. Pediatric dentists understand children and their needs and offer a service specifically for children. You can feel confident that your pediatric dentist will know how to treat and manage your child’s dental issues. 

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in your area? Our team has the compassion and confidence to treat your children. Request your appointment today!