Choosing a Pediatric Dentist

· 3 min read
pediatric dentistry at Smile Surfers
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist is Important

Choosing a pediatric dentist is just as important as finding the right pediatrician for your children. As parents, we take this job very seriously – we want to find the absolute best healthcare provider that we can trust and rely on for many years. When choosing a dentist for your little surfers, look for a dental office that specializes in pediatric dentistry and is certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: like the team at Smile Surfers.

Pediatric Dentists: Additional & Continuing Education

A general dentist, that is to say someone who has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree, can perform dental work on both children and adults.  However, being licensed as a pediatric dentist requires additional a post-dental school education. This ongoing education is focused on adapting general dental procedures to children.

In order to become a pediatric dentist, a two-year residency program is required. Courses are aimed at educating candidates in the areas of child orthodontics, infant oral healthcare, child growth, development and psychology. Successful completion of both this residency and a passing grade on the National Board Dental Examination are necessary to receive a pediatric dentist license.

In the state of Washington, 21 hours of continuing education are required each year to maintain a license to practice. The state requires that this education be pertinent to the professional knowledge and development of the dentist or enhance the services they provide to their patients.

You can feel confident that your children are in the right hands when you choose a pediatric dentist committed to this level of education and ongoing training.

Pediatric Dentists: Accommodations for Children

We all know someone who has a fear of going to the dentist – even as adults.  An estimated 30-40 million adults have enough anxiety over seeing a dentist that they simply do not go. It’s possible their phobia of the dentist office took root when they were a child after having a bad experience.

That’s why a pediatric dental office works hard to make the environment fun, playful and enjoyable for children. If they look forward to watching a movie, playing on a slide or getting to wear superhero goggles while they are at the dentist, they will be much more amenable to going.

Pediatric dental offices very mindfully construct their spaces to be inviting and exciting for children. The walls and decorations are geared toward making children feel relaxed and comfortable. Parents will want to find an office that their children can connect with on a positive level. Going to the dentist should be something your children look forward to doing.

Pediatric Dentists: A Love for Children & Their Health

Like all medical professionals who choose a specialty area to practice, pediatric dentists have a genuine love for children. Part of their professional goals are to set them on a path of enduring health.

A pediatric dentist has the opportunity to instill lifelong habits in their patients – both with oral care and general well-being. At Smile Surfers we are dedicated to helping our patients and their families achieve total body wellness. While the focus of a pediatric dentist may be oral healthcare, we are just as concerned with helping patients live a healthy, balanced life.

Learn more about our services, our American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry board-certified dentists and our two locations:

Richland: (509) 946-9999. www.
Sumner: (253) 833-5137  www.

2 comments on “Choosing a Pediatric Dentist”

  1. Avatar for Smile Surfers

    Dr. Juliana Gohill

    Nice info about how to choose a pediatric dentist. You can also visit our website.

  2. Avatar for Smile Surfers

    Arthur Morrison

    I do like that you bring up the extra two years of study and education that a dentist needs to become a pediatric dentist. After all, there are many parents that often wonder about the different between a normal dentist and one that can specifically treat kids. However, it is that extra education that really allows them to properly treat young children.


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