The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
There’s no better time to start caring for teeth than the very beginning! Children’s mouths are different than adults. They are still in the growing phase. The amount of care shown right from the start can drastically shape their smile later on down the road.
Pediatric dentistry is similar to general dentistry, but they work with tiny humans. A pediatric dentist must go to additional two years of schooling to specialize in the field. The additional schooling is needed because children have many complex problems and can be somewhat tricky to perform services on. It takes a caring and understanding dentist to work with children. The first pediatric dentist you choose your child to will shape his or her opinion of going to the dentist, in most cases, for the rest of their life.
When you hear about people, who have a fear of going to the dentist, nine times out of 10 it is a recount of something terrible that happened during a routine visit at the dentist when they were younger. So choosing the right pediatric dentist is just as essential as the amount of attention given to caring for their teeth. But aside from choosing the right dentist why is having your child go to routine dental checkups so vital?
Why Caring For Baby Teeth is a Must
We all understand the chain of events that happen with teeth. One emerges, they all come in, one falls out, then is replaced with a new adult tooth. So why is it necessary to care for the baby teeth, if they are just going to be replaced by new ones? That is a great question. Baby teeth need to last until the adult teeth are ready to come in. A full set of adult teeth can take up to 21 years to fully develop.
A child doesn’t merely sprout all their baby teeth at one time, nor do they lose them all in that manner. Baby teeth can be just as prone to cavities as adult teeth which can make them more vulnerable to premature tooth loss. If a tooth comes out too early, it can interrupt the alignment of the other teeth as they are growing.
Let’s say you have a five-year-old. He or she will have a mixture of baby and adult teeth. If you don’t take him or her for routine checkups and cleanings the adult teeth will not be taken care of as frequently as needed. Problems such as cavities can be missed and lead to tooth decay early on.
What Happens During a Routine Pediatric Dentist Visit?
Most of us have been brought up on the idea that going to the dentist yearly for cleanings is essential. It is a thought that has been drilled into our brains and one that we just shouldn’t avoid. However, it is more beneficial to go twice a year. This is especially true for children whose jaws are still growing, and mouths are sprouting new teeth. Most dental offices, including Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, recommend bringing your child for their first visit six months from the first tooth comes in, or before they reach one year of age. This is the standard set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The first time you bring your little one to the dentist, you might wonder what the dentist will do, or what they will be looking for during the exam. The dentist will do X-Rays to look for any potential problem with the growth of the teeth, check for delays, and ensure teeth are where they should be. Then your child will have a tooth cleaning done, and possible a fluoride treatment.
The primary goal for most pediatric dentist is to instill an educational experience with children. This means teaching them that caring for their teeth is important, and how to brush and floss correctly. By teaching kids early, they will have good habits for life.
As Your Child Ages
While having your child seen early and often is essential to their oral health as they age it becomes even more imperative to stick with regular visits to the dentist. By the age of three, most dental offices will want your little one to experience the dental visit on their own, while the parent waits in the waiting area. While this might make some parents feel uncomfortable, it’s been shown to be better for the developing child to have this experience. Staff will guide them through every procedure. Most children will have a more positive outlook on the dentist when treated like a big kid.
Teaching kids the importance of oral health starts from the very first visit to their pediatric dentist.