What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist?
A pediatric dentist specializes in treating children from infancy to adolescence. They are to dentistry just as pediatricians are to medicine. Pediatric dentists undergo an additional two years of training in order to gear their practices specifically to children.
This extra training involves dealing with the behavioral aspects of children and child psychology, growth and development cycles, treatment of traumatic injuries, making children feel comfortable about dental treatments, and care of special or handicapped children.
This is important when you consider that the first six years of a child's life are the most crucial in developing strong permanent teeth and healthy gums. Simply put, pediatric dentistry is preventive dentistry.
In addition, pediatric dentists make dental visits enjoyable for kids. Just-right-sized dental chairs and cleaning instruments, flavored fluorides and toothpastes, brightly colored surroundings, balloons, toys . . . all make pediatric dental offices a fun place to learn about good oral hygiene.
A good pediatric dentist, with a devoted staff and practice geared to making children comfortable, can establish a lifetime of healthy dental habits.