Should I Take My Child to a Pediatric Dentist?

Smile Generation®-trusted pediatric dentist Dr. Eric Ellis answers your questions about pediatric specialists and your child’s oral health

Dr. Eric Ellis is a specially trained pediatric dentist and multi-practice owner in the Greater Phoenix, Ariz. region. Dr. Ellis was kind enough to answer some frequently asked questions about children’s oral health.

Find a My Kid’s Dentist pediatric specialist in California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah or Washington.

Find an Every Kid’s Dentist pediatric specialist in Arizona or Georgia.

Q: What is the difference between a pediatric specialist and a general family dentist?

Dr. Ellis: Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric specialist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits their dental practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence. Pediatric specialists are also specially trained to treat children with special needs.

Infographic education scope pediatric dentist

Q: When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?

Dr. E: In order to prevent dental problems and ensure your child’s oral health, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. My goal is for your child to be cavity-free for life. Evaluating risk factors and frequent checkups can help us make that goal a reality.

Q: How often does my child need to see a pediatric dentist?

Dr. E: A checkup every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their individual oral health needs.

Q: What if my child is scared of the dentist?

Dr. E: There is no reason for your child to fear visiting the dentist. A parent’s demeanor and how they present a dental office visit to the child is key in breaking the cycle of dental fear. Pediatric dentists take pride in ensuring that your child has a positive experience at the dental office and grows up looking forward to their visits. A strong oral health foundation will set your child up for a lifetime of great dental health!

Dr Ellis kids with masks

Dr. Eric Ellis graduated from the Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, OH. When not busy fighting tooth decay, Dr. Ellis loves spending time with his wife, two children, and his French Bulldog, Daisy. Dr. Ellis’ hobbies include climbing, hiking and weight training at the gym. Connect with Dr. Eric Ellis on his Facebook page.

Dr Ellis masks

Learn more about pediatric dentistry from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.


Please be aware that content provided on this blog is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your dentist regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or dental condition.