Many parents wonder whether they need to take their children to a pediatric dentist instead of the family dentist. Although a pediatric dentist may be trained to handle patients of any age, the family dentist can care for patients of any age.

Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist—What’s the Difference?

The terms family dentist and pediatric dentist are often used interchangeably, but the terms are not synonymous. While a family dentist takes care of all ages, a pediatric dentist is trained to handle children’s dental needs. While a family dentist may offer pediatric dental services to patients of any age, a pediatric dentist may offer these services only to patients under a certain age.

Pediatric dentistry is not a specialty that a family dentist can practice. Although most dentists are trained to care for children, they may only be trained to perform orthodontics on children. Orthodontics is a specialty, and most dentists are not trained in this specialty.

Why Choose a Family Dentist over a Pediatric Dentist?

Parents need to take their children to a family dentist for dental services. Surveys show that many parents are not aware that children need to visit a dentist regularly. A family dentist is the best type of dentist for children because family dentists work with children of all ages.

Children do not have to worry about going to a dentist they are unfamiliar with. If a child is well cared for at home, they may be more likely to receive dental care at home throughout their childhood.

How Often Do Children Need to See a Family Dentist?

Regular dental care for children is essential for many reasons. Children should visit a family dentist at least once every six months for cleanings, checkups, and other routine dental care. Regular visits to the dentist should begin early in a child’s life.

At the beginning of their dental visits, children need to receive sealants to help protect their teeth from cavities. Children should visit their dentists as soon as they have their first teeth to set up a schedule of visits that can help to reduce the risk of dental issues throughout their childhood.

What Can a Family Dentist Do?

A family dentist can provide the same dental care that a pediatric dentist would provide. In addition to regular dental care, a family dentist can also provide braces, dental crowns and bridges, and other dental services appropriate for the patient’s needs.

A family dentist may also offer dental care to parents, grandparents, or other family members. Before visiting a family dentist, parents need to discuss any specific dental needs of their children with the dentist. Most family dentists will be happy to discuss their services and work with children of all ages.


Children need to visit a family dentist instead of a pediatric dentist. A family dentist can help set up a dental schedule for children that can help to promote dental health throughout childhood. Children should visit their family dentist as soon as they have their first tooth. Regular visits to a family dentist are essential to keep children’s teeth and gums healthy.

At Shallowford Family Dental Group, we are proud of our history. This practice began back in 1940 with one doctor dedicated and committed to providing the best care possible to his patients. As the years passed, the practice has gained thousands of wonderful patients who have entrusted us with their family’s health. Today we continue that care commitment in our modern, state-of-the-art facility with our four experienced doctors. If you are looking for a family dentist in Chattanooga, get in touch with us today! Let us know how we can help.

Contact Us

Contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible! Thanks!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt