Unless you’re a pediatric dentist yourself, you may have questions and concerns regarding how to handle you’re your children’s oral health. You may even be worried about sending them to a dentist in the first place. If you’re lost or concerned with how to go about your child’s dental care needs, here’s a few questions you can ask your pediatric dentist.

What’s the difference between family and pediatric dentists?

The biggest difference between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist is that a pediatric dentist specializes in children from infancy to teenage years. Pediatric dentists have an extra two years of training for children under their belts compared to family dentists. They also use a gentle touch in a child-friendly environment, which means they have toys and books for the children to play with while they wait to be seen.

Since pediatric dentists know that dentist offices can be scary to children, they often take the time to show the child the dental equipment, let them play with the toys, and allow parents to stay with their child if it makes them more comfortable.

Unlike family dentists, who only give children basic check-ups and treatments, pediatric dentists perform both common and complex treatments on children. They also show children how to care for their own teeth and develop good oral health habits.

What’s a good age to bring my child to a pediatric dentist?

Some oral care experts say you should start bringing your child to a pediatric dentist at age 3, while others say when you see a first tooth come in, or at least before their first birthday. Basically, there is some flexibility to when you should start bringing your child to the dentist. However, bringing them in earlier could lower the chances of complications as your child’s teeth develop, and will make dentist visits a normal part of their childhood from the very start.

When should my child start using toothpaste?

Once the first tooth comes in, you can start using a small smear of fluoride toothpaste. When the child reaches ages 2 to 5, they can start using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. As for infants, cleaning their gums with an infant toothbrush or soft cloth will help them get used to the feeling of brushing their teeth in the future. What better way to encourage healthy oral habits than to start before the teeth have even grown in?

How often should I bring my child to the dentist after the first check-up?

It’s recommended to bring your child to the pediatric dentist every six months. Pediatric dentists monitor the growth of your child’s teeth, and look out for any signs of damage or decay.

Your child’s health is important!

It’s better to ask questions and be confident in your child’s oral care than to not ask questions and be lost. If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to ask your pediatric dentist!

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