All dentists are qualified to work with children, and they do a good job. But some dentists specialise in this area of work. It may seem unnecessary given that your family dentist is capable of treating your child, but in fact there are good reasons why you should consider a specialist children's dentist.
Pediatric Dentists Are Trained in Specialized Treatment for Kids
Firstly, a pediatric dentist will be more knowledgeable about issues particularly affecting children. Children can suffer from different conditions than adults; baby teeth are one obvious example. Healthy baby teeth can promote good chewing habits and confidence, and they can also act as a guide for the new teeth. A baby tooth that comes out too soon can lead to a new tooth growing crookedly. Specialist knowledge about these teeth can be a huge advantage.
Children are also more prone to tooth decay and cavities, which again can spread and cause damage to permanent teeth. A children's dentist is also more likely to be able to diagnose problems with overbites and tooth alignment, which may require braces.
Pediatric Dentists Know How to Relate to Kids on Their Level
The second advantage is that children's dentists also have more experience of dealing with children. Although many adults are scared of visiting the dentist, the problem is far more acute with children, who may also not understand what treatment is being given. Pediatric dentists see every type of behaviour, from tantrums to acute shyness. Their ability to modify the child's behaviour, relax the child, and evaluate which (if any) sedation options are appropriate can only come with experience.
It is also worth considering the relationship that your child will build up with your dentist. Pediatric dentists are more likely to have child-friendly premises, with child-friendly decor and various distracting toys and games. This is one of the most important aspects of keeping a child happy with their repeated dental visits, and will be broken up if your child then needs specialist treatment. It may prove easier and less traumatic if your child receives specialist care in the first place.
To sum up, there is no reason not to take your child to your family dentist; but if you choose a specialist pediatric dentist, you can be confident that your child is on the path to lifelong dental health. Start comparing your options by calling local clinics that have child dentists.