Pediatric dentistry is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your children’s oral health. A pediatric dentist has specialized training in caring for children’s teeth, gums, and mouth.
They can provide preventive care and diagnose and treat dental problems. They can also offer guidance on how to promote good oral hygiene habits at home.
Poor oral hygiene and lack of proper dental care can leave your child facing possible dental-related diseases and tooth decay. These issues can result in a lifetime of pain and oral complications. Over 20% of children between 5-11 years have at least one instance of untreated tooth decay.
This blog post will discuss the importance of pediatric dentistry and guide you on what to expect from your child’s visits to the pediatric dentist. Read below for more information.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a specialist who focuses on the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. This involves preventing, diagnosing, and treating various conditions affecting teeth and gums. Pediatric dentists also provide guidance on proper oral care habits for children of all ages.
A pediatric dentist has the necessary skills and knowledge to handle children’s unique oral health needs. They also have experience working with infants and children, which helps put them at ease during appointments.
What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?
A pediatric dentist provides comprehensive oral care for infants, children, and teenagers. Below are the duties of a pediatric dentist:
- Examine a child’s teeth and gums to check for any problems
- Apply sealants or fluoride treatments to prevent cavities
- Fill cavities that have already formed
- Extract primary (baby) teeth that are badly decayed
- Counsel habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use
- Handle dental injuries such as knocked-out or fractured teeth
- Monitor the growth and development of a child’s teeth and jaws
- Provide guidance on proper oral care habits, such as brushing and flossing
- Early detection and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an incorrect bite (orthodontics)
A pediatric dentist also works closely with parents to ensure that their child receives the best possible care. They will often answer any questions or concerns parents may have about their child’s oral health. Additionally, they can recommend the proper nutrition and diet to ensure good oral health for both parent and child.
Your dentist might also recommend different types of teeth aligner options to help straighten your teeth, from clear aligners to braces. While all of the information your dentist will give is absolutely vital, they might not share all of the details, especially when it comes to something like Invisalign. Read this detailed review to get a good and honest understanding of the clear aligner to see if it is the best option for you.
What Type of Training Do Pediatric Dentists Have?
After completing dental school, a pediatric dentist has an extra two to three years of specialized training. During this time, they learn how to care for infants, children, and adolescents’ unique needs, including those with special health needs.
Pediatric dentists are also trained in how to manage behavior, so your child can feel comfortable and relaxed during their appointment. They understand that children can sometimes be scared or anxious about going to the dentist, and they will do everything they can to make the experience a positive one.
When to See a Dentist
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a child should have their first dental visit within six months after the appearance of their first tooth or by their first birthday.
After that, the AAPD recommends that children see a dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. Some children may need to see a dentist more often if they have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or a high risk of developing cavities.
If you are not sure whether your child needs to see a dentist, you can always ask their pediatrician for a recommendation.
Brushing Children’s Teeth
It is essential to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear to prevent cavities. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and water or fluoride toothpaste.
If you are using fluoride toothpaste, only use a pea-sized amount. To brush your child’s teeth properly, start by using circular motions on the outside surfaces of their teeth.
Then, use back-and-forth motions on the inside surfaces of their teeth. Finish by brushing the chewing surfaces of their molars.
It is essential to brush your child’s teeth for two minutes at least once a day. If you have any questions about properly brushing your child’s teeth, contact a reputable dentist for assistance.
What to Expect During a Visit to the Pediatric Dentist
Children and adults have different experiences when visiting dentists. Unlike an adult, the child will not always sit still or cooperate with the dentist during a cleaning and dental exam.
A pediatric dentist knows this, and they specialize in ensuring the child is more comfortable during the treatment. Parents can expect a few things when taking their child to see a pediatric dentist.
The office staff should be used to handling young patients. This means they will likely have a waiting room with toys, books, and television shows geared towards children. The staff will also know how to handle frightened or uncooperative patients.
The pediatric dentist may use a smaller dental chair or one with special features, such as a television, to help the child feel more comfortable. They may also use smaller tools and have a gentler touch.
If the child is very young, the dentist may recommend using fluoride treatments or sealants to help prevent cavities. The dentist may also talk to the parents about good oral hygiene habits, such as proper brushing and flossing techniques.
How to Find a Pediatric Dentist
When choosing a pediatric dentist, it is essential to find one who is experienced and qualified. The best way to do this is to ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your child’s pediatrician.
You can also look for a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Once you have found a few potential dentists, you should schedule an appointment for a consultation. This will allow you to meet the dentist and ask any questions you may have.
After choosing a pediatric dentist, it is essential to establish a good relationship with them. This means making sure that your child is comfortable with the dentist and that you can communicate openly. If you have any concerns, be sure to bring them up so that they can be addressed.
For more tips on finding a pediatric dentist, check out this guide.
Now You Know Everything About Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is an integral part of your child’s overall health. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your child has a positive experience at the dentist and that their teeth are healthy and strong. Do not hesitate to ask for help from a qualified professional if you have any questions or concerns.
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