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How to Choose a Dentist for Kids
A dentist for kids, also known as pediatric dentist or pedodontist, specializes in providing dental care for children.
After finishing dental school, pediatric dentists spend another 2-3 years focused on dentistry for kids.
How do you know if your child should see a family dentist or specialist?
A good children's dentist will make your son or daughter's dental visits enjoyable.
A dentist for kids has more training and experience dealing with behavior issues or dental anxiety.
Most general family dentists are really good at providing fun filled dental care for kids too and may be the most convenient or the more affordable choice.
When to Choose a Dentist for Kids
- For kids who are afraid of the dentist. Dental phobics comes in every shape, size, and color. For pint-sized phobics, a dentist for kids might be best. Kids dental offices are less intimidating and full of fun distractions for your child.
- White coat anxiety - If you child has a medical condition that has required a lot of doctors appointments they could have white coat anxiety. Can't trust anyone in a white coat. Mask and gloves?...forget it!
- Special needs - Dentists for kids have extra training for special needs children and can make dental visits easier for your special needs child.
- Children who need a lot of treatment - In spite of fluoride and sealants, some kids still get cavities. A very large cavity might need a pulpotomy (root canal for kids) or crown. Cavities are easily treated by your general dentist but if your child needs a lot of dental treatment, consider a child dentist.
- Kid friendly Childrens dentists specialize in entertaining your child. Some have televisions on the ceiling playing your child's favorite movie.
- Kid sized Not the dentist....the furniture and equipment:) Everything is smaller, more colorful, and less intimidating. Able to prescribe pre medication, nitrous oxide or sedation for your child if needed to take the anxiety edge off.
Pediatric dentists are experts in children's dental care issues. They can advise you on things like:
- thumb sucking
- tongue thrusts
- proper development
- If and when to see an orthodontist
When choosing a children's dentist, be sure to follow these three steps for finding a good dentist.
Whether you choose a family dentist or pediatric dentist, one goal should be to provide your child with a pleasant experience.
Kids who have bad dental experiences grow into adults who avoid dentists.