Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists treat children with dental problems like cavities, gum disease, and malocclusion (crooked teeth). They also help discourage harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking and prolonged pacifier use.


Dental issues in childhood can have lasting consequences. By promoting good oral hygiene and treating dental problems early, pediatric dentists set children up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.


The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to children’s dental health. Pediatric dentistry focuses on preventive care to keep young patients healthy and to avoid more serious problems in the future, such as tooth decay or misalignment.

Kids need specialized oral care to develop good hygiene habits and prevent dental issues that may arise as they age, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Pediatric dentists work closely with parents to educate them on proper hygiene techniques and good diet choices that will promote their child’s dental health. They also use tools like plaque disclosing solutions and hand mirrors to help them evaluate their child’s teeth for early signs of tooth decay or other conditions.

It is recommended that a child see a pediatric dentist shortly after getting their first tooth or by their first birthday. Pediatric dentists can then establish a dental home and implement simple preventive oral care programs that will reduce the burden of medically complex, chronic illness in young children associated with untreated caries (tooth decay).1

Early Treatment

Children’s teeth start growing at six months old, and by age six or seven they begin to lose their primary teeth and are replaced with secondary, permanent teeth. Oral care early on is important to prevent disease and damage that can last a lifetime.

Pediatric dentists are experts in assessing and diagnosing problems, especially when it comes to the developing teeth. They can spot potential issues like a crossbite or overbite before they become serious and recommend orthodontic treatment as needed.

Educating children and parents is another key aspect of pediatric dental care. This includes helping children and adults develop good oral hygiene habits, and giving advice on dietary choices, injury prevention, nonnutritive sucking habits and fluoride use.

Since many children are afraid of the dentist, pediatric dentistry includes expertise in reducing anxiety during visits. This may include using child-friendly language and distractions like toys or books to make the experience more positive. They can also offer sedation when necessary for more complex procedures.


Pediatric restorative dentistry is the process of repairing and restoring damaged teeth. This includes treating tooth decay, filling in chips or cracks, resolving gum disease, replacing or repairing a chipped tooth, and removing or adjusting a misaligned or discolored tooth. These procedures typically require local anesthetics and sedation to make the procedure as comfortable for your child as possible.

Pediatric dentists also help prevent future dental issues by educating children on proper brushing and flossing techniques, promoting a healthy diet low in sugary foods and drinks, and encouraging regular dental visits. By focusing on prevention, pediatric dentists can reduce the need for costly treatments in the future and set kids up for healthy oral hygiene habits that last a lifetime.

Dental bonding is a cosmetic treatment that uses tooth-colored resin material to fill in chips, mask discoloration, or seal cracks. It’s a fast, painless way to restore a tooth and give your child a smile they can be proud of. This is particularly important for kids with visible defects, like crooked or missing teeth, which can negatively affect their self-esteem and social interaction.


Dental problems can have a huge impact on a child’s overall health and development. Studies show that children with poor oral health are five times more likely to suffer from asthma and other chronic diseases. Pediatric dentists (also known as pedodontists) are specially trained to recognize these problems and treat them early to minimize their consequences.

In addition to providing routine dental cleanings and examinations, pediatric dentists can help their patients establish good habits that will last a lifetime. They can also offer guidance to parents about proper brushing techniques and diet, fluoride use, and other important aspects of children’s oral health. They can also spot and treat problems like gum disease, which may start as gingivitis and progress to periodontitis. They are also skilled at treating injuries to the mouth, and they can recommend braces for children with crooked teeth. They also have the expertise to handle more serious dental issues like cavities, malocclusion, and abscesses. The goal of pediatric dentistry is to keep children healthy and strong so they can have beautiful smiles that will last a lifetime.

Emergency Care

In addition to treating dental problems, pediatric dentists educate parents and children about proper oral hygiene. They also advise about diet choices and fluoride use to prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues. Creating positive associations with dentistry early on will help kids maintain good oral health throughout their lives.

If your child has a dental emergency, a pediatric dentist is the best person to call. They will treat it promptly, with minimal discomfort, and help your child prevent future emergencies.

Tooth fractures and knocked-out teeth are common for kids, especially when they play outdoors on jungle gyms or skateboards. It’s important to keep the number of your child’s pediatric dentist handy and be able to give them a call right away when they experience an accident.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric dentists have had to review their clinic procedures in order to triage children for treatment under general anesthesia. In some cases, it may be necessary for children to visit a hospital for urgent care. Click here to learn more. A study was published in the Pediatric Dentist journal that provides an algorithmic approach for determining medical and dental emergencies.