A pediatric dentist is a recognized specialty within dentistry that specifically deals with the overall health and well-being of children. In order to become a pediatric dentist someone would have to complete four years of dentistry school as well as an additional two or three more years of schooling.

They not only learn about the ways in which children’s teeth differ from adults, they also learn how to make young children feel comfortable when they see a dentist (no easy task) as well as how to deal with children who may have mental or physical problems.

Most babies begin to get their first set of teeth by six months of age. Some babies are born with a tooth or two already.  It is very important that babies be seen and evaluated by a pediatric dentist early in life.  Even if there are no baby teeth present, the pediatric dentist can evaluate the baby for caries (an infectious disease) as well as evaluating the mother who may have passed this to her baby.

Pediatric dentists learn all about the development and growth of children’s teeth.  They are also trained to treat traumatic injuries to the teeth. They learn how to make young children feel safe and secure when visiting the dentist. They are also trained in child psychology. The office is set up and geared towards children, with colorful rooms and lots of toys.  All the chairs are child-size. The fluoride and toothpaste are all flavored to make them more palatable to children. In short, they do everything possible to make a child feel welcome.

Another very important aspect of the pediatric dentist is that he or she is trained to spot oral abnormalities. These abnormalities can be a sign of other problems such as asthma, heart defects, ADHD and even heart deformities!

They provide the child with preventative care such as fluoride treatments to prevent cavities. They can clean the teeth, and even provide advice on diet.  They can surely help with habits that will affect teeth such as the use of pacifiers, thumb sucking and sippy cups.  They can evaluate whether or not the child will need to have its teeth straightened by orthodontics.

Your child should see the pediatric dentist twice a year when there are no problems.  They will most likely see this specialist until they reach their teenage years.  Healthy teeth and a winning smile is very important later in life, and it really is necessary to begin to take good care of those teeth in infancy. Give your child the head start they need when it comes to good oral health.