Choosing a dentist for the family isn’t an easy decision. Some parents opt for a family dentist, one who can see all the members of your family at once. A family dentist makes sense for some families, but there are several situations where a pediatric dentist would be a much better choice.
Pediatric dentistry refers to the branch of dentistry that deals with taking care of the oral health of children, from their birth through adolescence, including those with special needs.
This article will help you learn more about the differences between pediatric dentists and general dentists, and the services that can be obtained through children’s pediatric dentistry.
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
Why See a Pediatric Dentist Instead Of My General Dentist?
Dentists, like doctors, can specialize in different fields. Some focus on root canals, others stick solely to care of the gums, and a select few choose to work with children. Pediatric dentists concentrate exclusively on the care of teeth in babies, kids, and teens. Not every licensed dentist has the patience to work with kids, and many kids certainly don’t have the patience to work with the average dentist.
Pediatric dentists intentionally put in the work to become experts in children’s needs. A pediatric dentist is equal parts educator and practitioner, so they have extra training beyond dental school to solidify their expertise in the emotional and developmental needs of children.
Who Should See A Pediatric Dentist?
All children and adolescents, including those with physical or mental disabilities, should receive regular dental care throughout childhood. Regular pediatric dental care is the best way to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health conditions. Regular pediatric dental care generally includes a routine dental cleaning and exam every six months, or more often as recommended by your pediatric dentist.
Duties Of A Pediatric Dentist.
Dentistry for children provides children dental care which comes in the form of routine check-ups and treatments they need to maintain good oral health. Some of these treatments include:
- Routine Check-ups
- Sealants filling
- Fluoride Treatments
- Brace applications.
You should ensure that you get to a pediatric dentist near you in case you have questions or queries as regard’s your children’s dental health.
When Should I Take My Child To See A Pediatric Dentist?
In addition to regular dental exams and care, consider seeking care from an experienced pediatric dentist if your child has any of the following symptoms or conditions:
- Having a bad breath or dry mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Noticeable changes in their teeth, gums, lips, or tongue
- Having crooked or discolored teeth
- Delayed teeth eruption in babies or tooth loss
- Sensitivity to hot and cold liquids or pain with chewing
- Tooth, mouth, or jaw pain or swelling of the oral tissues such as the gums
In older children and adolescents, if behaviors that increase their risk of dental problems including playing contact sports, frequent snacking between meals (a risk factor for cavities), smoking, excessive alcohol use, and high-risk oral sex practices are observed.
Why Early Childhood Dental Visits Are Important.
The sooner children begin getting regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives. Early checkups help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating, and other medical issues. Youngsters with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence.
Also, in preventing dental decay, Pediatric dentists educate families on their diet as well. Children tend to have a diet that’s high in sugar, leading to problems with their teeth. With a diet balanced with fruits and vegetables, with less added sugars, they have less of a chance of developing tooth decay. Changing the diet can be beneficial for the entire family.