Why Your Child Should See a Pediatric Dentist

Your child’s oral health is an essential part of their development. By the time your child has reached their first birthday, they should have already made their first dental visit. You may think that you can simply take your child to your general dentist to receive exceptional care but this is not the case. If you are taking your child to the dentist, they should be seeing a pediatric dentist as they are specifically trained to deal with children’s teeth. This post will help you better understand why you should be taking your child to a pediatric dentist rather than to a general dentist.

Most children are treated by a general dentist. There are advantages to taking your child to a family dentist such as knowledge of family history and having a relationship with the entire family. However, a general dentist will not have the same training as a pediatric dentist which makes them less prepared to deal with the teeth of a child, such as dental developmental difficulties and conducting root canals on adult teeth that have yet to fully develop.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry, sometimes referred to as pedodontics, is a dental specialty that focuses solely on the dental treatment of young people. Pediatric dentists are also known as pedodontists and have gone through additional training to be prepared to handle the dental needs of children. Pediatric dentists are required to complete additional training while in school which will allow them to offer primary and comprehensive care to babies, young children, and adolescents. They achieve this training by spending two years, and in many cases three years, in addition to their general dental education so that they can practice pediatric dentistry. To date, there are over 7,000 pediatric dentists practicing in the United States.

Why Is Taking Care of Baby Teeth Important?

Baby teeth may not seem that important because they will eventually fall out but they are actually very important. Baby teeth hold the space that will later be occupied by the permanent teeth. If a child suffers from tooth decay, it could potentially result in that baby tooth needing extraction before it is ready to come out. If this occurs, a neighboring permanent tooth coming in may do so crooked to fill in the empty space. This could cause serious and expensive orthodontic problems. To ensure that your child does not fall into this situation, you will want to take them to a pediatric dentist to ensure their current and future oral health.

What’s the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist?

Once a general dentist has graduated from an accredited school and has obtained his or her license in their chosen practice, the dentist will have been trained and able to treat patients of any age. However, this does not mean that they are the best dentist for people of any age. The teeth of children are much different than that of adults and children have special needs. A pediatric dentist has been specially trained with a different set of standards, which have been set by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, with the goal of meeting these special needs of children and teenagers. These special needs include things like fluoride treatment and dental sealants.

Pediatric Dental Training

Pediatric dentists have been specially trained to deal with the unique issues associated with dealing with the teeth of children. Due to this training, pediatric dentists have the ability to conduct infant oral health exams, distribute relaxation medications, counsel on nutrition, conduct emergency dental care, deal with space management after a premature loss of a primary tooth, and discourage thumb and finger sucking using appliances and special methods.

It is perfectly logical to think that you can simply take your child to your general dentist and receive better care than if you took them to a pediatric dentist. This is why a majority of children receive dental treatment from a general dentist. While they may be qualified to handle your child’s dental needs, a pediatric dentist has been specially trained to deal with the teeth of children, meaning they can provide optimal care. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist to take your child to, come see the experts at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.