Pediatric Dentistry: What You Should Know
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Similar to medicine, dentistry has specialties that address a specific problem or group of people. A kid’s dentist is trained to handle the dental needs of children.
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that primarily focuses on the examination, management, and prevention of dental problems in children from infancy to adolescence.
When is the Best Time to Visit a Kid’s Dentistry?
The general rule is ‘first dental visit by the first birthday.’ it is recommended that you visit a children’s dentist near you when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
When Should a Child Change Dentists?
Unlike the family dentists, kid’s dentists rarely treat adults. Your pediatric dentist will work with your child through their teenage years. However, they can continue to visit the dentist until they are 21 years.
Working with the same dentist from infancy makes it easy for the dentist to track the dental problems and prevent any genetic issues that may arise.
What Are the Common Dental Problems Affect Children, And Why You Need a Dentist?
Although children can get the same problems as adults, like gum disease, there are specific issues unique to kids. Working with a children’s dentist will make it easy to either avoid or deal with these issues at the earliest stages.
- Baby bottle tooth decay
Childhood caries happen when the primary or baby teeth are attacked by acid solution. When you constantly give sugary foods like formula, milk, or fruit juices, the bacteria in the oral cavity will break down them and produce an acid. The solution will attack the enamel and make it prone to developing cavities.
The child’s teeth can also develop decay when they sleep while bottle feeding.
If the decay is left untreated, it can spread and affect the teeth making it difficult to chew and eat. It can also lead to the early loss of baby teeth that will cause the permanent teeth to come out crooked or crowded.
Visiting the pediatric dentist regularly will make it easy for the dentist to detect these problems and address them on time.
- Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is normal in childhood as the children use it to relieve stress. But if it continues beyond age five, it can affect the permanent teeth. Depending on the intensity and duration of the thumb sucking, the teeth can come out misaligned, causing bite problems. It may also affect your child’s speech and pronunciation of words.
The dentist will work with your child to improve the behavior and stop the habit. Furthermore, she may begin with the first phase of orthodontic treatment to correct the teeth before it becomes a problem.
- Tongue thrusting
This is habit is just like thumb sucking, only that the child thrusts the tongue forward against the lips when swallowing. This habit will exert pressure on the front teeth and push them out of alignment, causing overbite problems.
- Lip sucking
Lip sucking is when the child repeatedly holds the lower lips beneath the front teeth, which causes overbite problems.
What Type of Procedures Do Pediatric Dentists Offer?
A pediatric dentist offers comprehensive dental procedures that include:
- Regular dental exams and cleaning
Routine exams and cleaning are vital in maintaining your child’s oral health. Usually, the pediatric dental exam takes about 45 minutes. In each visit, the dentist will examine the teeth and gums to check for any problems and signs of decay. She will also perform teeth cleaning process to get rid of accumulated plaques.
It is recommended that you visit a pediatric dentist every six months. This makes it easy for the dentist to monitor any dental issues.
- Dental sealants
These are plastic coatings applied to the teeth to protect them from decay and cavities. These coatings are fixed on permanent teeth, and they last for a decade.
- Fluoride treatment
Fluoride strengthens the teeth and prevents dental decay. The dentist will apply fluoride varnish on the teeth and leave them for a couple of hours before rinsing.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Grand Dental or make an appointment online for more information on our pediatric dental services and how they can benefit you.