Parents often struggle to decide between pediatric or general family dentists for their child. Each option offers advantages and disadvantages.
Pediatric dentists provide parents with invaluable support in instilling good dental hygiene habits at an early age, preventing any possible dental fears and early diagnosis of any problems. Furthermore, they can advise on topics ranging from thumb-sucking to nutrition.
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They Are Specialized
The mouth is the gateway to overall physical wellbeing, and children’s early experiences with dentists form their attitudes about dentistry as they grow up. Pediatric dentists specialize in creating positive associations with dentistry and developing good habits early that last throughout life.
Pediatric dentists spend two additional years of training after graduating dental school specifically focused on issues that impact children’s teeth and gums. This training includes studies in child psychology, growth and development in infants, children and teenagers as well as working with children who may present special needs such as behavioral difficulties or sensory processing disorders.
Pediatric dentists employ smaller medical tools designed specifically for use by young patients that help keep them calm and engaged during visits, making for a smoother visit for everyone involved.
Children can learn to associate the dentist as an enjoyable place, rather than one which is intimidating or scary, from an early age. Establishing positive associations will help children avoid having negative associations later in life and it will be much simpler for them to form them than break them down later on.
Pediatric dentists can help children break bad oral habits that might be difficult for parents to address, such as thumb sucking and prolonged pacifier use. Addressing such habits early will help avoid future dental issues, and pediatric dentists will assist parents in doing this in the way that is most suitable for their child.
As much as it may seem like taking your child to a family dentist is less costly and easier, pediatric dentists provide more specialized training and will understand how kids respond to treatments and can create positive associations between dental appointments and good dental health care for your kid. They’ll help reduce any negative associations that adults may have about going to dentist and encourage children to maintain good oral hygiene practices themselves.
They Know How to Treat Kids
As with physical health, good oral hygiene habits should begin early for your children. Pediatric dentists specialize in making children comfortable throughout dental appointments to create positive associations between visiting a pediatric dentist and no discomfort or fear in the future.
While regular dental offices may provide you with hygienists trained in working with children, a pediatric dentist’s office specializes solely in pediatric care and has experts specifically trained to care for young patients. Furthermore, before you allow any pediatric dentist to treat your child it is wise to ask how long they have been practicing; someone with extensive experience dealing with young patients would likely provide superior service.
Pediatric dentists must obtain either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree before being permitted to practice dentistry. After completion of these degrees, a two-year residency program provides them with the skills and knowledge to treat children of all ages with individual needs.
They can detect potential issues before they become serious, such as misaligning jaws or attrition due to teeth grinding (known as bruxism) among children, which could prevent headaches, tooth decay and gum disease later.
Pediatric dentists can provide parents with advice for breaking bad habits like pacifier or thumb sucking that could negatively impact a child’s dental health in the future. In some instances, pediatric dentists may recommend orthodontic procedures which will straighten teeth and enhance smiles.
Pediatric dentists may offer payment plans that make caring for your child’s oral health in their growing years more cost-effective and accessible. Before making arrangements with any dentist, always check that they accept your child’s insurance provider as well as financial arrangements within your family budget.
They Have Smaller Tools
At a pediatric dentist, your child will use tools designed specifically for them – smaller tools that fit easily in their mouth, making handling them much simpler. When visiting a general dentist instead, however, the presence of larger tools should serve as a warning sign – this indicates they may not take enough care in designing tools tailored specifically to children’s dental care.
Pediatric dentists undergo two to three additional years of training that is designed specifically for dealing with children, giving them insight into issues that affect children specifically, such as baby bottle tooth decay or open bite from thumb sucking. By providing this knowledge to parents they can educate them about ways they can address such problems before they become severe.
Pediatric dentists are highly-skilled professionals with years of experience dealing with children. This allows them to react and respond in the most beneficial ways when your child becomes scared, nervous or restless during a visit; rather they’ll work to make your child feel secure while setting them on a path towards good dental health in adulthood.
Pediatric dentists’ offices are designed to be welcoming, fun, and welcoming environments that promote learning for young patients. This often includes using colors and themes that appeal to children as well as having toys available in the waiting area to keep children occupied while waiting. Pediatric dentists will take time to explain all parts of a tooth as well as how best to brush and floss properly – helping your child understand why it’s so important that regular appointments take place at their office.
Overall, pediatric dentists are an ideal solution for your children’s oral health needs. Their knowledge, skills, and equipment allow them to put your children at ease while instilling in them a positive view of dental care that will last into adulthood. If you are still uncertain if one is suitable for you and your family, scheduling a consultation visit gives both you and your child a chance to assess if the two interact as intended and see if there’s any chemistry between the two of you.
They Can Help With Behavioral Issues
Visits to the dentist can be daunting experiences for children, which is why creating positive associations between dental care and children should be encouraged by pediatric dentists who specialize in pediatric dental care and creating fun environments where children will look forward to returning again and again. Pediatric dentists know exactly how to create this environment that will make visiting the dentist an exciting adventure!
Pediatric dentists can also assist with behavioral issues, including thumb sucking and teeth grinding – habits which may eventually lead to dental health complications later on. Pediatric dentists understand these issues and can advise parents how they can get their children to stop these behaviors through incentive schemes or other techniques.
Pediatric dentists are trained in behavior modification to assist children who exhibit behavioral disorders like oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. This training allows them to better understand children’s needs and enhance oral health outcomes; generally speaking, children with behavioral disorders have poorer dental health than other children, making it essential to give these kids the highest standard of care possible.
If you are uncertain which pediatric dentist would best suit your child’s needs, seek recommendations. Speak to friends, neighbors and family who have children about which dentist they use and their experiences there. Checking a pediatric dentist’s website allows you to see their office environment and learn more about their philosophy for treating children. Finding a dentist who understands children and can make them feel welcome is of utmost importance, so take the time to search for one who fits. A pediatric dentist might just be perfect! Check out Pinky Promise Pediatric Dentistry’s blog for tips on finding one!