Who Should See a Pediatric Dentist?

waiting patient
Are you trying to find a pediatric dentist for your children? Or, perhaps you wonder whether going to the general family dentist is just as good? There are advantages that a pediatric dentistry office can provide that the general dentist cannot. You may wonder which types of patients should go to a pediatric office. This is an ideal choice for certain patients, so it is nice to know whether your kids are good candidates.

Differences between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist

It can be difficult to find the right dentist. Some parents may not realize that pediatric dentistry and general dentistry are different. A general dentist mainly cares for young adult, adult, and elderly patients. However, this dentist can also see younger patients as well. At a pediatric clinic, the dentist will care for children up through their teenage years.

Pediatric dentists have additional training beyond dental school that focuses on issues specific to children. These dentists can diagnose, treat, and prevent dental conditions such as cavities and gum disease. The dentist will help with preventive and restorative care. A pediatric dentist has a deeper knowledge of calming techniques for anxious kids than a general dentist.

Babies and toddlers

Many general dentists will not see patients until age 3 or 4. By this time, a child can typically hold still in a dental chair for a few minutes and understands a little of what is happening at the appointment. However, a pediatric dentist has the training to effectively treat children long before this. Before a child turns 1, the pediatric dentistry office will welcome them and parents into the office for examinations. These visits are brief and consist of educational opportunities for parents. The dentist can also identify early conditions the child may have.

Preschool and early school-aged children

Ages 4 to 8 are prime years for cavities. Children often struggle to develop and maintain effective brushing habits. Flossing can also be difficult for kids this age. Consequently, tooth decay is common. Visiting the dentist at least twice a year will help to prevent these problems or treat them quickly. Also, during this time, kids can experience tooth and gum trauma due to injuries and accidents, so restorative care can help.

Pre-teens and teens

By the time a patient reaches this point in life, cosmetic issues become more evident. A pediatric dentist can address discolored teeth, crooked teeth, and bite dysfunctions. Kids in this age group are good candidates for pediatric dental care to prepare for braces, wisdom tooth extraction, and gum care. It is also helpful for a patient to continue seeing the same dentist they have been with since early on in life.

Your child deserves the right dental care

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