What is a Pediatric Dentist? Pediatric Dentists are dentists who care for children from birth through adolescence. Pediatric dentists receive 2-3 years of advanced training after dental school. Just as you would take your child to see a Pediatrician for their medical care, Pediatric Dentists are the "Pediatricians" in Dentistry.
Can't my child be seen by the same dentist that I see? One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology. Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, and inviting atmosphere for children. Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences from an early age. Pediatric Dentists are trained to work with children. In addition, pediatric dental offices tend to offer a more comforting experience for children and have dental materials / instruments better suited for small children (ie: smaller xrays, different flavored toothpastes, etc.).
What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do? Pediatric dentists fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene. They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech, and also hold space for permanent teeth.
Other important functions include:
Education – Pediatric dentists educate parents and children emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, pediatric dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen. Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of tooth decay. In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, pediatric dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to decrease a child's cavity risk, advise parents on oral habit cessation, and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique.
Intervention – Many dental problems in children can be minimized with proper intervention. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), mouth guards or orthodontics may be recommended.
If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.