The Role of a Pediatric Dentist in Your Child’s Dental Health
Please repeat after me: baby teeth are important! Are you a parent worried about your child’s dental health? Do you want them to develop good dental habits of regular brushing and flossing, so that they retain pearly white and beautiful teeth throughout their life? Then don’t worry, because a pediatric dentist will take care of your child’s dental health. Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that is concerned with the oral health of children from infancy till teenage. Apart from their basic dental qualification, pediatric dentists have to undergo 3 years of training before they are allowed to treat complex pediatric dental procedures. In addition, they are also trained in the treatment of children with mental or physical disabilities.
Your Child’s First Visit to the Pediatric Dentist
Many parents wonder about the right age when they should take their child to pediatric dentist for a first visit. The American Dental Association recommends that the child should see a dentist within the first six months of eruption of his or her first milk tooth. At the first visit, the pediatric dentist will examine your child’s milk teeth and provide necessary instructions regarding the oral healthcare of your child. In addition, an x-ray of your child may also be taken if the dentist suspects any problem with their teeth.
What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?
Apart from taking care of child’s teeth and gums, a pediatric dentist also provides the following services:
- Child and Parent Education – during the infancy of your child, the pediatric dentist will provide you with necessary instructions regarding the care of your child’s teeth. However, as the child grows, they will also be educated regarding the importance of their oral health as well the necessary measures they should undertake in order to maintain an optimal oral health.
- Oral Health Examination – upon every visit, your child’s pediatric dentist will perform a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and gums, so that any problem can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
- Preventive Dental Treatment – to prevent your child’s teeth from cavities and infections, the pediatric dentist will provide preventive treatment, such as application of fluoride and sealants. They will also recommend tooth friendly habits and diet.
- Treatment of Teeth Cavities – if your child has teeth cavities, your pediatric dentist will remove them and then replace them with a suitable filling material.
- Treatment of Dental Injuries – children of all ages love to play and are always at risk of getting injured. A pediatric dentist provides emergency treatment of your child’s dental injuries, such as tooth fracture or soft tissue lacerations.
- Treatment of Children with Disabilities – one of the most important roles of a pediatric dentists, is to provide dental care and treatment to children with special needs. They are trained in administering nitrous, oral and IV sedation in necessary situations. They educate you on the best course of treatment at your consult appointment.
- Pre-orthodontic Evaluation – pediatric dentists periodically observe the children regarding any future requirement for an orthodontic treatment, and refer their patients to an orthodontist at a suitable age.
What Should the Parents Do?
Remember, as parents, you act as a role model for your children. Therefore you should try to inculcate good dental habits into your children right from their early ages. During the early years, you should not only teach, but also supervise them while they brush, so that they develop an accurate brushing technique. As a general rule, when they can tie their own shoes is the age when they can be allowed to be brush their teeth independently. You can also motivate them by brushing your teeth in front of them. Furthermore, you should ensure that your child takes a balanced and a tooth friendly diet, and limit the frequency of their sugar intake.
If you want your child to always keep smiling and have a perfect dental health as well as shiny white teeth, then you should regularly take them to a pediatric dentist. Remember, if you invest in your child’s dental health today, you can rest assured that they will remain healthy throughout their life!