Kids aren’t just mini adults; they’re still growing and developing and have unique needs. This is why most people take their child to a pediatrician as opposed to their own primary care doctor. After all, a pediatrician specializes in caring for kiddos. Well, a pediatric dentist is like the pediatrician of the dentistry world. These specialists have the knowledge and training to provide outstanding dental care to infants, children and teens, as well as those with special needs. We’re covering what a pediatric dentist is, how they can help your child and why they are the best choice for little ones.
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists, like those at Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry, not only limit their practice to just treating kids, they also complete two to three more years of additional specialty training after dental school. This training is focused on providing dentistry for infants, kids, teens and people with special health care needs. Pediatric dentists are experts in the unique oral health needs of children and teens and have an in-depth understanding of kids’ dental development. They’re trained in child behavior as well, allowing them to tailor their approach and techniques to kids from birth through adolescence.
What do Pediatric Dentists do?
Our Brooklyn pediatric dentists offer comprehensive general and specialty dental care to kids. We can take care of all of their oral health needs in one place. Pediatric dentists offer:
- Preventative dental care, such as comprehensive exams, dental cleanings and protective dental sealants
- Diagnostics for early detection of issues while they’re still quick and easy to fix
- Kids’ dental treatments for problems like cavities, dental injuries and gum disease, as well as treatments such as space maintainers and habit-breaking appliances
- Education and advice to kids and parents on creating an excellent oral hygiene routine at home, diet, oral habits, including thumb sucking and pacifier use, and more
- Safe sedation when necessary
- Care for kids and teens with special needs
Why Visit a Pediatric Dentist Instead of a General Dentist?
Since a pediatric dentist is a dentist for kids, their offices tend to be much more kid-friendly. At Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry, our offices are bright, fun, modern and designed especially for young patients. They do not have the clinical, intimidating feel that an adult dentistry practice can have. Everything is child-sized for maximum comfort and we have prizes, games and books to keep kids engaged and having fun.
Our dentists know how to speak with kids on their level using terms they can understand. They’re also well versed in behavioral techniques, including tell-show-do and positive reinforcement. This helps ease the jitters so that children can get the care they need. We make going to the dentist fun and enjoyable, which sets the stage for amazing oral health for life. It also makes things easier on parents. Since we know how to help anxious or fearful little ones through an appointment, it really lowers your stress too.
When Should Children See a Pediatric Dentist?
As for when to see a pediatric dentist, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children have their first dental visit six months after they get their first tooth or by the age of one. This might sound extremely young but these early visits are important. They help little ones get used to the sights and sounds of the office and allow them to develop a rapport with the dentist. It also lets the dentist keep an eye on how your child’s smile is developing.
At Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry, we let your child set the pace at this first visit and we spend as much time as you need answering questions. Often, babies will sit on their parents’ lap during the first appointment and we’ll simply do a quick, yet thorough oral exam but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We always show kids any tools we’ll be using and tell them what we’ll be doing before we get started. This way, they know what to expect and there are no surprises.
Sometimes people are under the misconception that little ones don’t need to see a dentist at all since their primary teeth will fall out anyway. That’s not the case. The baby teeth play important roles. They save space for the permanent teeth, guide facial development, and help kids chew and speak properly. This is why caring for them through regular dental visits is crucial. While it will depend on your child’s needs, for most kids, we recommend visiting a pediatric dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
Now that you know the basics about what a pediatric dentist is and how they can help ensure your child’s smile is healthy, are you ready to schedule a visit for your little one? Book an appointment with a Williamsburg or Park Slope pediatric dentist at Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry today by giving us a call at (917) 397-1341 (Park Slope) or (718) 899-4500 (Williamsburg).