Many family dentists provide care for all ages of patients. So if you're looking for dental care for your children, should you choose a regular dentist or a pediatric one? Here are four reasons that a pediatric dentist can make a world of difference.
1. Family Decor and Toys
Dentist visits can be scary even for adults, and one bad experience as a child can start a lifetime of anxiety. Pediatric dentist offices are geared toward making children's early visits positive ones. For this reason, you'll notice a lot less of a clinical feeling and a lot more child-friendly decoration and entertainment.
Pediatric dentist offices feature fun visual decoration with beloved children's characters - like the Wizard of Oz or Finding Nemo - and comfortable cartoon styles based on jungle, animal, beach, or other lighthearted motifs.
Staff often wear clothing designed to help make kids comfortable and provide conversation starters. And you're more likely to find simple entertainments like aquariums, video monitors, and props. All these items can come together to make a new situation into a comfortable one.
2. Child-Friendly Equipment
In addition to kid-friendly staff, a pediatric dentist office often has equipment that is specially tailored toward little ones. Although there's no functional difference between regular-sized dental machinery and child-sized versions, the smaller ones can be less intimidating and less scary to see. They can also be more comfortable, including smaller mouth appliances designed for tiny bodies.
Because children's teeth and bodies are still developing, pediatric dentists also tend to use more protective equipment. This is most obvious in additional protective gear for X-rays, fast digital film, and low-dose X-ray techniques. They are also more likely to be proactive and lean toward over- and careful treatment rather than under-protection.
3. Trained Interaction
Pediatric dentists and their co-workers spend a lot of time focused on the specific needs of children and families. They have a lot more experience helping children with special needs, disabilities, or specific anxieties.
Ask your pediatric dentist about experience with children of varying ages and particular special circumstances. Many pediatric specialties participate in outreach organizations and associations that focus on the needs of a particular group of patients (such as autism groups and those who work with children with Down syndrome).
Many pediatric dentists undergo special education - even as much as two or three years of additional time - beyond the norm in order to fully appreciate kids' unique dental needs with regards to developing teeth and childhood ailments. And treating dental issues at this stage of growth can make a difference for a child's entire life.
4. Preventative Care
Adults often have a variety of established dental issues and problems, but kids are just starting out with their teeth. That makes this a good time to develop good habits that last a lifetime.
A pediatric dentist has experience helping parents and children instill good routines about dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing daily. They also know what makes kids tick and how parents can help motivate them to do routine dental hygiene at home.
Good childhood preventative maintenance includes explanations about things like how to properly use fluoride treatments for growing children and protective coatings like dental sealants. Since pediatric dentists work with only one basic group of patients, they can offer much more specific counseling, care, and suggestions.
Start your search for a qualified and child-friendly dental office in the San Antonio area at Kids of Oz Dental. We are happy to discuss all the advantage we can offer both you and your children in their dental care. Visit it us today!