When Should Your Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

Posted on September 28th, 2022 at 10:10 AM
When Should Your Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

Let’s be honest, finding dental care for ourselves can sometimes feel like a chore. Now, imagine doing the same thing after you start a family. Parents have the important task of finding dental care for their children that not only meets health needs but doesn’t break the bank either.

If that’s where you are today, rest assured, we’ve got you covered!

Here we explain some do’s, some don'ts, and answer the very important question of when your child should see a pediatric dentist.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Some people confuse pediatric dentists and general dentists, but the two are not the same. 

General dentists work with a range of patients, from old to young. While they do see children, their primary clientele consists of adults. On the other hand, the age demographic is much more focused for pediatric dentists — six months to 21 years old.

Since they only work with young people, that also means they specialize in this area. Their specialization will be apparent in work etiquette, health care tips, and the tools they use. 

Expertise with children typically means pediatric dentists cost more, but what you pay for you get back through service specifically geared towards children. Ultimately, choosing a pediatric dentist over a general dentist means finding an oral doctor who is an expert in preventive dentistry and the developing mouth.

Benefits and services include:

  • Expertise with children
  • Knowledge of children-specific oral health
  • Habit counseling (thumb sucking, pacifier, etc.)
  • Preventative dental management
  • Diagnosis of conditions and diseases
  • Developing healthy oral habits

When Should Your Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

Parents should plan on taking their children to visit a pediatric dentist between the ages of six months and a year, or when their first tooth emerges.

Visiting the pediatric dentist while the child is still young helps the entire family lay the groundwork for good oral hygiene. Furthermore, an early visit helps spot oral diseases or conditions that could cause complications later.

dental therapy dogs with pediatric patient

What is the Cost of a Pediatric Dentist?

Without insurance, the average cost for a dental visit per child will be between $65 and $100. This amount includes children as young as 6 months up to 17 years of age. With insurance, the amount you pay per visit will be less. And the recommended number of check-ups per year is two.

Technically speaking, pediatric dentists stop seeing patients at 21 years of age, though most people stop going before then and switch to general dentists. 

How to Find a Pediatric Dentist


One very reliable way to find a pediatric dentist is through referral - depending on the source. Ask around town, your family, friends, especially parents you know, where they take their children’s dental work.


Consider asking your dental insurance provider what offices are covered under their policies. Once you find a potential candidate, give them a call to see if they’re a good fit.

Online search

Another method for finding dental care is through the web using a search engine. Most if not all accredited dental offices will have an up-and-running professionally-designed website. Go online, see what you can find, then give them a call.

Tips for vetting your options

After you’ve found some potential places for your children, you’ll need to vet your options. This may sound intimidating, but vetting your options is by far easier than the initial research. Here are some considerations to help you choose the best pediatric dentist:

  • How far away is the dental office?
  • Is the staff friendly and professional?
  • Is your child comfortable with the environment and staff?
  • Are they expensive?
  • Can you be with your child during the session?

When Should Your Child Stop Seeing a Pediatric Dentist?

After finding a pediatric dentist, for better or worse, eventually, you will come to the point where your child will need a new doctor. Here are a few possible reasons why.


Once your child reaches a certain age, visiting a doctor who specializes in working with children won’t sound appealing, especially for teenagers.

Health concerns

Pediatric dentists work to keep your child’s oral health in good shape. If visiting ever leads to the opposite, then it’s time to go back to square one and consider some other dental offices.

Poor relationship with the child

If you or the child ever develop a negative relationship with the practitioner, consider finding a new place to seek dental work.


Whether to solve a health concern, get a checkup, or start healthy living on the right foot, eventually every child should visit the dentist’s office. And while not everyone’s favorite pastime, dental care is a necessity for all of us.

Don’t let finding a pediatric dentist feel like a chore. Here at Sleep Dentistry, we value the oral health of your entire family! Give us a call today and let’s schedule your child’s next, or even their very first visit!