It’s important for your child to begin a relationship with a dentist at a young age. The American Dental Association recommends children visit a dentist for the first time by their first birthday, or as soon as their first tooth erupts. But should you take your child to a general dentist or a pediatric dentist?
Just as you take your child to a pediatrician who specializes in medical care for young patients, you should also seek out a pediatric dentist for your child’s dental needs. While a general family dentist can provide great dental care, a pediatric dentist will have the unique knowledge and training to treat even the youngest patients.
Pediatric dentistry is one of the dental specialties recognized by the ADA. After dental school, a dentist goes on to additional training in order to be recognized as a pediatric dentist. This training helps pediatric dentists understand the unique needs of adolescent patients, as well as trains them to treat patients with special needs. Pediatric dentists are experts in the specialized needs of children and teens because they have in-depth training in dental development.
Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive care, including:
- Preventative care that includes exams, cleanings, and protective sealants
- Diagnostics, such as 3D X-rays and images to monitor growth and detect issues
- Treatment for cavities and dental injuries, as well as for habits such as thumb sucking
- Education and advice for parents on issues related to their child’s growing smile
- Sedation when needed
- Specialized care for children and teens with special needs
Another thing that makes pediatric dentists stand out is their offices. We understand how important it is for children to feel comfortable and safe, so we design our offices with this at the forefront. Rather than focusing on a clinical feeling, we design our offices with our patients in mind. We want children to associate our offices with being welcomed and having fun, so you’ll find things like child-sized seating, books, and games in our waiting rooms.
Pediatric dentists are well-trained in making even their most anxious patients feel right at home. We discuss procedures in terms children can understand, and use a show and tell method before doing any work. This helps our youngest patients better understand any procedures that we do so they’ll feel comfortable.
When your child associates the dentist with something that is enjoyable, it can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. And when you know your children are in safe and expert hands, you can rest easy, too.
At Rochester Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, our team of pediatric dental experts is committed to providing compassionate care to patients from their baby years to their teen years.