Four Reasons to Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Setting up your child's first dental appointment can be confusing. You may wonder whether you should bring him to see a special pediatric dentist or just your regular practitioner. Here are four reasons why a pediatric practitioner just might be the ideal choice:

Specialization in Children's Teeth

Pediatric dentists have been specifically trained to treat children's developing teeth. They know the unique problems that children face, such as cavities and gum problems. They also understand the complexities of how teeth grow and develop and can keep an eye out for potential problems. Lastly, pediatric practitioners have experience dealing with frightened children and can help your child feel at ease and comfortable at the dentist.

Smaller Child-Friendly Equipment

While there's nothing wrong with using standard-sized dental equipment on children, it's nice that pediatric dental offices use smaller equipment specifically designed for a child's mouth. Additionally, many pediatric dentists help ease your child into dental exams by introducing one piece of equipment at a time. This can help children get used to the complex and often "scary-looking" equipment without overwhelming them.

Bright Décor and Toys

Specialized children's dental practices are decked out in brightly-colored décor, complete with toys and games in the waiting room, to help your child feel more at home. Many practices also play popular children's cartoons to distract your child during the exam. They hand out stickers or toys at the end of the appointment to help build up your child's level of comfort. Additionally, when your child sees other children having a positive dental experience, she can use this as a model to follow.

Focus on Preventative Care

Pediatric dentists also focus on prevention of dental problems to ensure lifetime of good dental health. Pediatric practitioners can give you advice and teach your child about developing healthy habits, like twice-a-day brushing and flossing. A pediatric dentist will also have the latest information on preventative treatments (such as topical fluoride treatments) as they pertain specifically to children.

Choose a pediatric dentist for specialized care for your child. If you need help to find a great pediatric practice, check out this search tool from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Learn more about pediatric dental care in in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Image Source: Flickr

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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What To Expect During a DENTAL VISIT

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  • A Thorough Cleaning – a dental hygienist or dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Then he or she will polish and floss your teeth.

  • A Full Dental Examination – your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.