Do I Need a Family or Pediatric Dentist?

Do I Need a Family or Pediatric Dentist?

Family Vs. Pediatric Dentistry?

A family dentist is trained to provide services to people of different ages. Family dentists are different from general ones, and they receive specialized training to handle various dental problems such as extractions, dentures, root canals, and professional cleaning, among others.

So, why can’t they examine children? Infants have different dental needs than adults, and they need specialized dental care, and that is where the pediatric dentist comes in.

A pediatric dentist is a professional trained to deal with all dental problems from infancy to adolescence. Pediatric dentists not only provide service to children, but they also offer parents educational material to maintain proper dental care at home.

Why A Pediatric Dentist?

We know as a parent; you want to give your child the best healthcare to give a good kickstart in life. However, taking your child to a general or your family doctor may not be beneficial to them. Why? Here are a few differences between family and pediatric dentistry.

  • Specialized training

A pediatric dentist receives advance training on children’s dental problems. The dentists go through a pediatric residency program that lasts for 24 months or more. This specialized training covers oral health from infancy through to adolescence, preventive, restorative, and sedation dentistry. Plus, they also receive behavioral management training.

Furthermore, the dentist must be a licensed pediatric dentist, meaning they have fulfilled all the requirements of the licensing board.

  • Child-friendly environment

Besides training, what sets a pediatric dentist apart is the décor. They have visually appealing colors and images that can entertain and relax the child. At our pediatric dental clinic, we strive to create a friendly and welcoming environment for the child. Our staff is also trained to handle different types of dental emergencies that might arise.

  • Preventive care

While family dentists provide curative dental solutions, pediatric dentists focus on preventive dental care. A child’s dental health begins even before the first tooth appears. So, if you want to prevent any dental problems, you need to start practicing better hygiene when the child is an infant.

With regular dental checkups, the pediatric dentist can detect any bacteria growth on the gums and remove it. Furthermore, they also offer dental sealants that act as a protective covering for the teeth and fluoride treatments, which prevent demineralization and promote a stronger enamel.

When Should You Take Your Child for a First Dental Visit?

The American Dental Association advises you to take the child for a first dental checkup before their first birthday or six months after the first tooth appears. The practice should be maintained bi-annually, or as discussed with the dentist.

What to Expect

During the first visit, nothing much happens other than a dental assessment. This first dental visit is crucial because it fosters a strong relationship between the child and the dentist.

The dentist will examine the gums, and if need be, clean them to remove plaques. They will also discuss various issues that might affect the child-like fluoride, teething, developmental milestone to expect, and good nutrition.

Practice Proper Dental Hygiene

The trick to having great dental health is to ensure you have good oral hygiene habits. Ensure you clean off your child’s gums with a damp cloth once a day to remove bacteria. Plus, don’t let them sleep while bottle feeding as it can affect their gums.

Once the first tooth comes out, get a soft-bristled toothbrush, and don’t use fluoride toothpaste until the child is three years old. If you are worried about the amount of fluoride, the child is getting, discuss your concerns with the dentist for guidance.

Final Thoughts

Family dentists are great as they cater to all the family members, thereby saving time and money. However, if you want a specialized dental checkup for your child, then a pediatric dentist is the right option.

Contact our pediatric dentist in Bronxville, NY, for a discussion on the best dental practices for your child.