What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Not that long ago the term pediatric dentistry was unheard of. People of all ages just simply went to the dentist if and when they needed.
There were no pediatric or geriatric dentists, just the local dentist that served the entire community, regardless of age.
We are blessed now to live in a world where the medical field has made major advancments. We have an incredible amount of knowledge, state-of-the-art technology, and intelligent, dedicated people who are committed to taking care of the specialised health needs of our different ages.
One of the biggest benefits this gives is highly specialized medical professionals. Society now understands there is a different doctor who has the expertise for just about any given medical problem or condition.
The human body needs different treatment and procedures at different times of life. Thus, we now have doctors, and dentists, who specialise in conditions that affect people of different ages.
Pediatric dentistry is the practice of providing oral healthcare to children, that is from infancy to teenagers.
They are dentists with additional training to help them understand the dental needs of children.
If you are interested in how the field of pediatric dentristy evolved, follow this link.
5 Commonly asked Questions about Pediatric Dentistry
When should a child first visit the dentist?
A child’s first visit to the dentist should occur not long after their first tooth shows.
A prompt visit will allow for a general check and further instruction from a dentist on how to care for your child’s current and incoming teeth.
Though you should wait for the first tooth to show, you should not wait longer than when your child reaches a year.
A pediatric dentist will suggest a visit in the first year even if teeth have not yet appeared.
Before your child has teeth, you should try to make sure you clean their gums with a soft, damp rag. Do this from birth to prevent gum disease, and allow for a healthy entrance spot for your child’s baby teeth.
How often should I take my child to the dentist?
Just like adults, once you begin taking your child to the dentist, you should do so every six months. This allows for regular cleanings and check-ups by a qualified pediatric dentist.
While daily cleaning is critical to good oral hygiene and health, these bi-annual visits provide a needed opportunity to consult with a pediatric dentist.
All parents want to ensure that their child’s teeth development and oral health is where it needs to be.
When do I start using toothpaste with my child?
As soon as teeth emerge, you should start using a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth.
Pediatric destists suggest increasing this amount to the size of a pea around the age of three as you teach children to brush their own teeth.
The proper use of toothpaste allows for protection of your child’s teeth from the time they arrive on the scene.
Are baby teeth really that important – they lose them anyway?
Yes, absolutely yes say all the experts in pediatric dentistry.
First of all, teaching children to care for their teeth while young is critical so they develop good oral hygiene habits for the rest of their lives.
There will come a time when there is no longer “back-up” teeth waiting to come in after all.
Baby teeth are also important because they help children learn to speak correctly, chew properly, and provide a perfect “runway” for the permanent teeth to come in.
What type of treatments are done in Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric Dentists do a number of preventative, diagnostic, and repair procedures.
Consultations are oral health exams and habit counselling. These are aimed at teaching good habits and hygiene to the parents, or child if they are old enough.
The idea is to help them understand good oral hygiene practices to prevent damage to young teeth and gums.
If damage is noted pediatric dentristry may call for the use of sealants, a thin protective layer of plastic to help protect the teeth from further damage.
Diagnostic measures are mostly assessments done to see that everything is growing well and aligning correctly.
It is an early assessment and would only need further monitoring if a problem is noted.
Understand that pediatric dentistry lasts up until your child’s teen years and may identify problems with jaw development and the room needed for adult teeth.
If a problem is noted while a child is still young measures can be put in to place to prevent later measures such as braces. Often a pediatric dentist can recommend plates and other devices to allow the teeth the room they need to emerge.
Like adults, sometimes kids will need repair work done. This is no indication of the care received at home as unfortunately for some kids, their teeth just don’t develp the way they should.
Kids can have just about any procedure from fillings to extractions. The method may vary depending on the age and development of your child.
Your pediatric dentist will know the best way to handle these situations if they arise.
Pediatric dentistry is very important to your child’s oral health. These specialists will make sure your child’s dental needs are taken care of.
The medical field has progressed greatly in this area and has the all dental help you need. Just schedule a visit today with your expert pediatric dentist.
Read more of our childrens health articles here.