A pediatric dentist specializes in treating the oral health of children, whether they’re a baby or a teenager. They’re like a general dentist or family dentist because they can treat children too. However, a pediatric dentist only treats children instead of adults. Sometimes it is better to bring your child to a pediatric dentist rather than a general dentist because a pediatric dentist has a better understanding of the different stages of development in a child’s mouth.
For instance, children experience a lot of changes in their mouth as they grow and develop. By the time a baby is 6 months old, their baby teeth start to develop. These teeth remain in their mouth for about 6 years before they start falling out. After the baby teeth have fallen out, they’re replaced with permanent adult teeth that grow in their place. You won’t want them to lose these teeth because there won’t be another set of teeth growing after that.
Childhood is the perfect time for anyone to start taking care of their teeth properly. Since children tend to eat a lot of candy and sugary junk foods, they have an increased risk of developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. If children are not brushing their teeth or getting dental cleanings, it could lead to much worse pains and cosmetic problems for them later in life.
Therefore, it is a much better option to bring your child to a pediatric dentist. This is a professional who can examine the child’s mouth and perform the necessary preventative services to keep their young teeth clean and strong. The dentist will also educate the child on how to brush and the overall importance of brushing and oral care. Parents and teachers are always encouraged to emphasize the importance of this too.
pediatric dentist near me
Credentials of a Pediatric Dentist
Like a general dentist, a pediatric dentist is required to have 4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years of dental education. They must complete the necessary testing to graduate from dental school with a DDS or DMD. In addition, since pediatric dentists are specializing in child oral care, they must undergo another 2 years of residency training in this field. This is where they learn how to care specifically for children of all ages, including babies, children, pre-teens, teenagers and special needs children. Kids Dentists are important!
dentistry for children
Pediatric dentists offer a wide range of oral healthcare services to babies and children. Here is a list of those services:
- Examinations – All patients receive an oral health examination when they first visit a pediatric dentist. Children are less likely to have gum disease, especially infants. However, the dentist will conduct a risk assessment on the child to determine their likelihood of developing cavities. Sometimes this risk factor can be hereditary and passed on from mother to child. An assessment of the position of the teeth may also be done too. Children with an improper bite or misaligned teeth may be referred to an orthodontist to straighten them out.
- Preventive Services – It is crucial for children to receive preventive oral care services. These include professional teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, brushing lessons, and nutritional education. Cleanings are recommended for a child every 4 to 6 months. As for babies and small children, they tend to develop bad habits like sucking on their thumbs and using pacifiers incorrectly. These habits can have a negative effect on their oral health if they continue to do them for too long. The dentist can teach the parent how to help their child deal with these habits.
- Treatment Services – Children with tooth defects, such as decay or cavities, can receive treatment for these issues. A pediatric dentist may even pull a baby tooth if it is having trouble coming out on its own. It is important that children get their oral health issues taken care of right away. You wouldn’t want them growing into something much worse. If it stays with them until adulthood, it could cause them a lifetime of pain and hardship in dealing with their oral health.
- Diagnostic Services – Basic diagnostic services are given after the child gets their initial oral examination. But if the child is suffering from any diseases like diabetes, asthma, attention deficit disorder, or a congenital heart defect, then it may be linked to a particular oral condition. The pediatric dentist can determine this in their diagnosis.
- Oral Management Services – If a child already suffers from gum disease, pediatric periodontal disease, ulcers, or mucoceles, a pediatric dentist can regularly manage these conditions. They can also manage dental injuries too, such as broken teeth and fractured teeth.
kids dentist near me
No one likes going to the dentist, especially children. Depending on the age of the child, they will likely be uncooperative with the dentist’s requests during an examination or procedure. Something as simple as asking the child to open their mouth may prove to be difficult. It is important for children to feel comfortable when they’re getting a dental service done to them. That way, they’ll likely be more responsive and cooperative with the dentist.
Pediatric dentists are trained for these types of scenarios with children. They know how to make the experience comfortable for them. When you go into the office of a pediatric dentist, it is not decorated with solid colors or other adult-oriented designs. Instead, pediatric dental offices are colorful and designed to make children feel like they’re right at home. Plus, pediatric dentists have special equipment which makes examinations and procedures easier for everyone.
children’s dental care
Your child depends on you to give them proper dental care. If you get this care for them in the early stages of their development, it will help them sustain good oral care well into adulthood. Their teeth and gums can stay strong and healthy with little to no risk of gum disease. They’ll make smarter food choices and always brush at least twice per day. These are habits which are important for children to develop, so they can keep them throughout their life.
Contact your pediatric dentist today and help your child get started on this journey to good oral health.