When it comes to your family’s health, you probably schedule regular checkups for every member of the family, including your children. While some families choose to see the same general practitioner, others choose to send their kids to see a pediatrician.
With dental care, the same concept applies. Your entire family can see one dentist, but it may be more beneficial for your children to see a pediatric dentist instead.
In this article, we explain what is a pediatric dentist and the benefits of taking your kids to one.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a dental care professional that offers all the same services as a dentist for adults. These include checkups, cleanings, fillings, crowns, and sealants. Pediatric dentists are responsible for the prevention, detection, and treatment of any oral issues.
The training for a pediatric dentist is similar to that of a general dentist. First, they have to get a bachelor’s degree that fulfills the requirements of the dental school they wish to go to. Then, they must get a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine, which takes at least four years of schooling.
After schooling, pediatric dentists have to do two years of residency to gain experience in their field. Once residency is complete, they can take exams to get licensed.
What Are the Benefits of Going to One?
Adults and children alike have a common fear of going to the dentist’s office. The strange smells and scary drill noises, plus painful experiences in the past can induce enough anxiety that people put off vital visits.
Forming a good association with the dentist at a young age is crucial in your children’s development. This is why it’s important for them to see a dentist that specializes in taking care of patients like them.
Here are a few benefits your kids can get from going to a pediatric dentist.
A Welcoming Environment
You may have noticed that most dental offices look quite sterile and medical. Your children may be intimidated by such an environment and this can cause further distress and bad memories tied to the dentist.
In a pediatric dental office, the practice caters specifically to young children, which means they’ll have bright and cheery walls painted with cute designs, such as animals and fantasy worlds. This will help your children feel comfortable in that setting and calm any phobias.
Staff Are Trained to Deal with Children
How many times have you been to your dental appointment and was coldly brushed off by either the receptionist, nurses, or the dentist themselves? As an adult, you’re better equipped emotionally to let it slide, and you don’t let that put you off from going to the dentist again.
But children may feel scared in an unfamiliar place, and when the people there treat them unkindly, it can compound on the fear of dental offices. In a pediatric dentist’s practice, all of the staff members are properly trained to deal with children to ease any fears or discomfort.
Even if your kids become hysterical, the staff will remain calm and use effective soothing techniques to calm them down. This can be especially helpful if your children have special needs; pediatric dental staff should be trained in using the right methods to soothe issues such as ADHD or autism.
Pediatric Dentists Specialize in Caring for Primary Teeth
You may think that primary teeth (or baby teeth) don’t need any looking after; they’ll fall out and adult teeth will replace them, after all. But the fact is, not all primary teeth fall out!
If there are any problems with your children’s primary teeth, their pediatric dentist will know how to deal with them without causing further damage. Baby teeth have a different composition to adult teeth (thinner enamel), so regular dentists may not be able to address issues as effectively as a pediatric one.
Pediatric Dentists Make Oral Care Fun
No one finds brushing and flossing exciting, including kids. But pediatric dentists can teach your children good habits by incorporating fun lessons.
Children tend to listen to authoritative figures rather than their own parents, so it’s vital you choose a pediatric dentist that you feel they’ll look up to. If you pick a dentist that’s a good fit for your family, you’ll be surprised at just how eager your kids are willing to go through daily routines for oral hygiene.
They Can Minimize Pain and Fear
It’s almost inevitable that your kids will get cavities at some point. When this time comes, you want a caring, patient dentist to handle the treatment. Your children may be squeamish and cause the filling procedure to start and stop constantly; you don’t want the dentist to chastise them for doing so.
A pediatric dentist will be experienced in handling these treatments for children and will be kind and reassuring throughout the whole thing. Your children’s first memories around cavity fillings can contribute to their overall feelings about dental practices; by choosing a pediatric dentist, you can ensure they have positive experiences all around.
Start Dental Care Early
Your oral health is the gatekeeper to your overall health; this means you need to teach your children good dental care at a young age. If they form good habits early on, it’ll be easier for them to keep up with them once they grow older.
By taking your kids to appointments as early as possible, they’ll know what is a pediatric dentist and be familiar with them. This can help fend off any phobias of dental offices when they grow up and encourage them to take better care of their teeth. Start them at a young age and make positive memories!
Does your child need to see a pediatric dentist? Then make an appointment with us now!