What is a Pediatric Dentist? And Other Questions About Pediatric Dentistry

What is a Pediatric Dentist? Children’s dentistry is quite different from general dentistry for adults. Tiny mouths, teeth, and gums require special dental care. This is why it’s important for your kid to see a pediatric dentist for their dental cleanings and exams. But what is a pediatric dentist exactly, and what can you expect during your child’s first dental exam? This article will answer these and other common questions about pediatric dentistry.

5 Common Pediatric Dentistry Questions, Answered

What is a pediatric dentist?

Think of a pediatric dentist as a pediatrician for your child’s teeth and gums. Pediatric dentistry is a recognized dental specialty by the American Dental Association. When you go to a pediatric dentist, you are trusting your child’s oral health to a dental professional who had two to three years of specialty training after completing dental school. They are not only well-versed in children’s dental issues, but trained to care for those with mental, medical, and physical disabilities. Pediatric dentists typically treat children from infancy through their teenage years.

What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?

While there are many similarities between general dentists (or family dentists) and pediatric dentists, they are also quite different from each other. All dentists receive the same education and training as undergraduates, but the difference between a general dentist and pediatric dentist is the additional years of specialty focus. Some dentists will go on to open a practice right after dental school and treat patients of all ages. But pediatric dentists are trained specifically to treat children. 

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

Generally speaking, you should try to schedule your child’s first dental appointment once his or her first tooth comes in. The sooner your child begins going to the dentist, the less likely he or she is to develop tooth decay. 

What can I expect during my child’s first dental visit?

Your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist will likely be on the short side. Little treatment will be involved — especially if your child has just one tooth coming in! Sometimes, your child’s first dental exam will simply consist of getting familiar with the dental office, and meeting the dentist or dental hygienist. You will likely be asked to sit with your child, or even hold him or her during the exam to put any jitters to rest. A pediatric dental exam usually consists of checking for tooth decay, examining your child’s bite, looking for potential gum, jaw, or oral tissue problems, and a teeth cleaning. You will also be educated on how to keep your child’s smile healthy at home. The dentist or hygienist will also answer any questions you may have. 

How often does my child need to see a pediatric dentist?

Just as you see your dentist for a teeth cleaning and exam every six months, so should your child. Twice-a-year dental checkups are crucial in order to prevent childhood cavities and other dental problems.

Pediatric Dentists in Clintonville Ohio

Are you ready to book an appointment with a children’s dentist? Contact our experienced Clintonville dental team today to start receiving expert dental care for your toddler, child, or teen.