In this article we mean to answer one simple question. What is a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric Dentists are specialized dentists with additional years of schooling. They get this extra training that helps them to deal with treating toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers. They often treat children with special needs as well.
When should my child start seeing a pediatric dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the ADA recommend that children get seen by their first birthday. This is especially important if you put your baby down with a bottle of milk. If you don’t put them down with a bottle of milk, they may be able to wait until the age of 2 to be seen. These appointments can be pretty quick and easy if there is no signs of cavities and your child is developing normally.
By the age of 3, your child should begin having regularly scheduled visits to the dentist. X-Rays may be taken if the dentist feels it is necessary. You child may also get a cleaning and a fluoride treatment as well. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and makes it harder for cavities to form, but they do not replace the need for regular dental hygiene. The doctor may help give you instructions for how to best care for your child’s teeth and oral hygiene.
Which types of treatments are provided by a pediatric dentist?
- Routine Dental Check Ups. Looking for cavities and other potential issues that have developed.
- Preventive Care, such as sealants, fluoride treatments, and recommendations for diet and oral health care.
- Managing and assessing gum disease.
- Repairing of teeth damaged by cavities.
- Checking for or referring out for potential problems with wisdom teeth or the need of orthodontic treatment.
- Fixing dental injuries such as broken jaw, fractures, or teeth that were knocked out.
What kinds of problems are common in toddlers?
The biggest concern dentists usually have for most kids is being put to bed with a bottle of milk. This causes cavities and can also contribute to gum disease, which is inflammation of the gums.
Thumb sucking and other concerns will be addressed by your pediatric dentist. Good oral hygiene is a lifelong marathon and starts with good habits and education on dental matters. A good healthy smile will serve your child for his entire life. Not just in eating/chewing food, but it will help them feel confident in their appearance as well.
Your pediatric dentist will be able to answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health and hygiene.
The information provided in this article is thanks to Dr. Ryan Bybee of The Kid’s Dentist of Henderson.