A “pediatric dentist” is a dentist that specializes in the oral care of children. When someone is seeking a pediatric dentist, it is generally due to the fact that they have given birth within the past 4 to 6 months, and they are beginning to see their newborn's first teeth come in.

Teething is a time in a baby's life that is uncomfortable as the new teeth cause pain when they are ready to break the surface of the skin. Most parents will utilize one or more of the thousands of teeth devices available to assist your baby in pushing the teeth free of the top layer of skin of their gums, and at the same time most parents will bring their child to a pediatric dentist in order to make sure everything is progressing as planned. Even a visual checkup is difficult at this stage of a child's life as they are resistant to people touching their gums due to the pain they are in. Where a standard dental education may teach you how to examine for cavities, abnormalities and health complications involving the teeth, only a pediatric dentist is trained in the techniques that will make a child's visit to the dentist productive.

Believe it or not, a lot of the education that a dentist receives in order to be licensed as a pediatric dentist involves child psychology. The ability to understand the most effective methods of calming a child down during a stressful situation is paramount to getting an exam that will provide good information and advice for the child's parents. Without the ability to get the child to hold still long enough to perform an examination on the newly forming teeth, the dentist may miss cruel clues that will potentially affect the patient for the rest of their lives.

One of the tasks of baby teeth is to pave the way for adult teeth to come in straight, and issues with the alignment of baby teeth can have effects even beyond their being replaced. A pediatric dentist also must determine if the baby teeth are damaged by cavities enough to take action prior to the natural course of nature and their eventual falling out. If the cavities that have formed are large enough that they can cause health issues or pain, the dentist may decide to put in small fillings or even remove them entirely. Each case is different, and should be evaluated only by a qualified pediatric dentist.