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

Finding the right dentist for your child is essential. Starting life with healthy teeth and gums will ensure that your child is free of pain and other complications that could arise. Regular checkups and quick solutions for dental problems should always be a priority.

Many parents can struggle to find the best dentist in their area, and there’s some confusion surrounding general and pediatric dentist practices.

Should your child go to an adult dentist? Do pediatric dentistry specialists have unique skills that benefit your child? Let’s dive deep into the topic and help you make the right decision for your family.

What Makes Pediatric Dentists Unique?

Children have unique dental needs. Pediatric dentists develop highly specialized skills to ensure that kids get the best care right up until they’re old enough to visit an adult dentist.

Infants start to develop their primary teeth at around six months. These teeth grow throughout childhood and are spaced in a way that helps adult teeth to grow through. While these primary teeth are destined to come out eventually, your child will still need specialist care to ensure that their teeth are growing correctly. You should take your child to visit a pediatric dentist within the first six months of their first tooth appearing.

Pediatric dentists develop skills that are tailored to children’s teeth. They know how teeth should grow, when steps should be taken to intervene with irregular growth, and they study childhood psychology to help provide better care.
A comfortable environment will always benefit your children, making dentist visits stress-free for the whole family.

Infant Dentistry and Exams for Young Children

Consider an infant examination as a fantastic example of how a pediatric dentist can make a difference.
Your infant can remain in your lap or be held in your arms throughout the examination. This keeps them calm and comfortable in a familiar embrace. Contact between the parent and child is essential, because it builds trust and eliminates any anxiety that could arise. Specialized tools like mirrors and brushes can be used, ensuring that there’s no pain and very little discomfort during an infant examination.

Older children and tweens will usually be comfortable with examinations and procedures even if a parent is not present in the room. Pediatric dentists develop an excellent chairside manner to keep children calm and relaxed throughout any procedure. Even treatment of cavities has come a long way in the last ten years, with plenty of pain management options available.

A pediatric dentist is your best option because there are specific skills and behaviors necessary to keep children comfortable. We all know the old cliché of children fearing their next visit to the dentist. With caring and compassionate pediatric specialists, this is no longer an issue.

Should Teens Visit a Pediatric Dentist?

Teens might feel comfortable enough to visit any dentist, including a general practice. However, there are significant benefits that come from remaining with a pediatric dentist up until the age of 18.
The jaw, teeth, and face will undergo significant structural changes throughout teenage years. Pediatric dentists are experts at identifying these changes and recognizing any steps that need to be taken to ensure good oral health.
Orthodontic procedures may be recommended, particularly if correction is needed for mispositioned or misaligned teeth. A pediatric dentist can treat overbites and underbites as they develop, minimizing any pain and issues with eating.

Teens that continue to visit a familiar pediatric dentist will also benefit from having their complete dental history readily available.

Children of all ages should visit the dentist every six months to prevent cavities and other issues that could develop over time.

Visit the Best Pediatric Dentist in Long Island

Looking for a reliable pediatric dentist near you? That Broadway Smile is your local dentist in Massapequa, NY. We serve all nearby communities in Long Island. You can have confidence knowing that your children will get specialist treatment for all their dental needs, with a chairside manner that is specifically tailored to their comfort.

Contact us today to book your next checkup.