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What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentists are specially trained to provide oral health care to infants, children, teenagers and those with special needs. All Pediatric Dentists have an extra two years of training (in addition to the four years of dental school) in the treatment of children. This training includes behavior management, child psychology, preventative dentistry, oral conscious sedation, general anesthesia, management of trauma, and hospital dentistry. 

They have been specially trained to monitor and guide dental development, which is important for the overall growth of a child’s permanent teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child has an orthodontic consultation by age seven. However, adults everywhere are now treating themselves to a beautiful smile, and one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.

What can be expected during a visit to a pediatric dentist? 

Depending on the age and oral health of your child, Digital X-rays may be taken at the first exam. After the X-rays, the pediatric dentist will count your child’s teeth and perform a thorough examination. The next steps will be a cleaning, fluoride application and then applying possible sealants to help prevent cavities. If the child is under three years old, the Pediatric Dentist may perform a “knee-to-knee” exam with the child sitting on the parent’s lap and his/her head leaning back into the Pediatric Dentist. This will help make the child feel secure and safe during his/her first visit. 

When should I take my child  to a Pediatric Dentist?

A child should see a pediatric dentist by his or her first birthday or when the first tooth comes in, which is typically between six and 12 months of age. However, you should start proper oral care immediately after birth by wiping the baby's gums after each feeding. Parents should also oversee brushing and flossing until around age nine and schedule dental checkups every six months until the child grows into an adult. Some children may continue seeing a pediatric dentist through their early teen years.

How do I find a Pediatric Dentist for my child?

Finding a trusted, local Pediatric Dentist for your child is easy. At Smile Generation, you can find skilled Pediatric Dentists near you, read staff profiles, browse patient reviews, and schedule your child's first appointment online in minutes!