The time has come for your little one’s first dental exam. Should you go to your dentist or consider one who specializes in treating children?

Here’s a look at the pediatricians of dentistry.

What is a pediatric dentist?

A dentist dedicated to the oral health of children is called a pediatric dentist. Generally, they treat children anywhere from 6 months – 18 years old. Pediatric dentists have an extra 2 years of training specific to treating infants, children, teens and children with special needs. They are experts in tooth development, human physical development and child behavior, which makes them specially qualified to help children.

What does a pediatric dentist do?

With their education and training, pediatric dentists can provide:

  • Exams
  • Preventive care (cleanings and fluoride treatments)
  • Risk assessments for tooth decay and teeth straightening
  • Treatments for cavities and gum disease
  • Repair of dental injuries
  • Recommendations on diet and nutrition
  • Advice about pacifiers and thumb sucking
  • Alerts to signs of dental issues that may be related to other conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, hay fever, congenital heart defects)

Why should I choose a pediatric dentist?

While it may be easier to take your child to your dentist, there are a couple good reasons to consider a specialist.

First, some kids (and adults) have a fear of going to dentist. A child-friendly dentist often has more patience and more skill working with kids. They know how to ease fears and engage with children to make them comfortable. Their offices are also equipped with kid-sized equipment and supplies to make the whole experience easier.

Second, the environment is often much less intimidating. Pediatric dentist offices are often bright, colorful and full of things like toys and books. The goal is to make children feel like they’re somewhere fun instead of somewhere scary.

Humana offers family dental plans

If you’re a current Humana dental plan member, you may be able to add a dependent to your plan at any time. If you’re looking for a family dental plan, Humana offers a broad range of plans with varying levels of coverage, many with affordable monthly premiums. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana dental insurance page.

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