From their first baby tooth to their large wisdom teeth, your child’s smile goes through a lot of changes throughout the years. To ensure their oral health stays in tip-top shape, dentists recommend bringing them in shortly after their first tooth emerges and scheduling bi-yearly visits from there. Since going to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing experience, parents often opt for a children’s dentist who specializes in the dental needs of babies, toddlers, elementary-aged children, and teenagers. However, if you have found yourself wondering whether you should start with an adult dentist, what the benefits of a pediatric dentist are, and if there are age limits, then keep on reading!
Pediatric vs. Adult Dentist: What’s the Difference?
Although a traditional dentist can treat your child’s teeth, pediatric dentists have undergone extensive training regarding the care and treatment of primary and permanent teeth. Plus, their office is designed from start to finish with children in mind. Therefore, you will find kid-friendly activities, child-sized dental tools, and a fun approach to the appointment to create an enjoyable experience for you and your child.
3 Benefits of a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child
Prevent dental phobia
Did you know that roughly 50% of adults experience some level of anxiety over visiting the dentist? Unfortunately, dental phobia often stems from a traumatic experience as a child. The good news is that pediatric dentists undergo training in making your child’s visit a pleasant experience from start to finish, preventing the development of a negative association with their appointments.
Start good dental habits early
All too often, bi-yearly visits are looked at as optional. However, routine visits play a crucial role in the detection and early intervention of dental and non-dental issues alike. Pediatric dentists can establish a trusting and familiar relationship with each member of your family and can ensure that they follow proper oral habits both in and out of the treatment chair. That way, your child can benefit from a healthy smile for years to come!
They make the experience fun
To ensure your child understands the importance of good oral hygiene, your pediatric dentist will focus on making dentistry fun! From cavity-free prizes at their office to at-home rewards for brushing and flossing, your child will benefit from the lessons and habits your pediatric dentist is reinforcing.
When Should My Child Transition to an Adult Dentist?
Despite having an extensive background and education focused on children’s dentistry, a pediatric dentist can continue to serve your child even after their 18th birthday! In fact, some children choose to continue to see their childhood dentist throughout college. Others may want to transition to an adult dentist earlier to feel more “grown-up.” However, at the end of the day, it is all about what makes them feel comfortable in getting the dental care they need.