The Differences between a Pediatric and Family Dentist

Bringing your child to the dentist for the first time can be a stressful, or even scary, experience. The new surroundings are enough to make any child want to cling to their mother or father. You may have a family dentist you’ve been using for years, but a pediatric dentist can cater to the care of your child’s teeth in a different way.

Different Specialties

A family dentist does not have the same depth of specialized care that a pediatric dentist does. Family dentists need to be able to treat a variety of ages, which means that they receive training on the dental needs of toddlerhood through adulthood. While this broad specialty is helpful when you want to only attend one office for everyone’s appointments, you have more focus with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist spends his whole day with children, so his familiarity with your child’s potential dental problems is more customized than a dentist that treats multiple age groups throughout the day.

Different Environments

If this is your child’s first trip to the dentist, the environment can make a big difference between a tear-filled appointment or a happy one. A pediatric office often caters to the young age group, providing multiple activity options and kid-friendly décor to make the experience seem less overwhelming. Additionally, the pediatric dentists at the facility are used to the fear that children face while in the dentist’s chair, so the approach is more calming and friendly. A pediatric dentist understands a child’s need to trust the adult they are with, which makes them adjust to the particular child without the impatience a family dentist may have.


A pediatric dentist is required to endure additional training after their dentistry degree is complete, which also means they can teach children the proper way to take care of their teeth. While a family dentist can detail the necessary actions a child must take, a pediatric dentist is able to articulate instructions in a way that resonates with your child, which is encouraging as they begin to be in charge of their own dental health. This education and approach helps them to be more comfortable with the dentist, which means they are more likely to tell him about the mouth problems they have at the appointment.

Pediatric Care

Every medical specialty has a pediatric specialty underneath it. Each child has certain physical needs that a family dentist or physician does not have the same education and patience for. It takes a certain type of individual to pursue a pediatric field, because most of the interactions have nothing to do with the physical issues. A pediatric doctor needs to know the right way to approach a child, allowing them to feel safe and to trust their doctor to help in their care. By choosing a pediatric dentist instead of a family dentist, you ease your child’s transition into routine care, which can impact their trust in doctors into adulthood.

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Mt. Vernon


We are excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of our fifth Superkids office in Mt Vernon, VA. Accepting new patients starting January 16th, 2023!

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