Why See a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists or pedodontists are equipped to handle the dental needs of toddlers, infants, school-age children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists have to undergo an extra two or three years of child-specific study and training after finishing from dental school.
Aside from dental training, pediatric dentists are specifically required to study child psychology. This helps them in communicating with children, gently, effectively, and in a manner that makes the child comfortable.
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) that children visit a pediatric dentist before their first birthday (or about six months after the first primary tooth emerges). Though it might appear to be early, biannual preventative dental appointments help promote near-perfect oral health.
Here are some of the reasons why parents should take children to see a pediatric dentist:
- To inquire about ongoing or new developments
- To learn to start a “no tears” oral care routine at home
- To learn strategies for oral injury prevention in the home
- To discover if the child has a risk of developing cavities
- To learn how to alleviate existing oral habits
- To get preventative treatments (sealants and fluorides)
- To get an update on the development of the child’s jaws and teeth
What does a pediatric dentist do?
The offices of Pediatric dentistry are colorful and child-friendly. It is important to make children feel safe, and comfortable so as to alleviate any phobias they may have prior to visiting.
The pediatric dentist handles various forms of oral care:
Prevention – tooth decay is a common occurrence in children. Fortunately, it can be prevented. Aside from offering useful advice, the pediatric dentist can minimize the risk of cavities or protect the tooth by applying fluoride treatments and sealants.
Early detection – Computer modeling, X-rays, and examinations make it possible for the pediatric dentist to anticipate future oral problems. Examples of such problems include attrition due to grinding (bruxism), malocclusion (bad bite), and jaw irregularities. Sometimes the best outcome is obtained by commencing treatment early.
Treatment – Pediatric dentists provide various forms of treatment. In addition to preventative treatments (sealants and fluoride applications), pediatric dentists also treat oral trauma and perform pulp therapy. In the event of an early loss of primary teeth, space maintainers may be used to ensure that the teeth are properly aligned.
Education – in any pediatric practice, education is key. Not only is the pediatric dentist able to teach the child the importance of daily oral care, but parents can also be given advice on toothpaste selection, thumb-sucking cessation, diet, and a host of other things.
Updates – Pediatric dentists know about all the latest developments in the world of dentistry. For instance, Xylitol (a natural substitute for sugar) was recently proven to protect young teeth against tooth decay, cavities, and harmful bacteria. Children who don’t visit the dentist regularly may miss out on vital information about diagnostic procedures and other things.
For questions on when to consult a pediatric dentist, please get in touch with our office.