What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Did you know that you’re supposed to start taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts? That’s right, your infant might already be ready to go to a pediatric dentist!
Pediatric dentistry is what keeps your child’s teeth and gums in good condition, but what is it? Why is dentistry for children different from general dentistry?
We’re here to talk about it. Keep reading so you can make an informed decision about your children’s dental health.
What Makes Pediatric Dentists Special?
Many parents aren’t aware of this, but pediatric dentistry is a specialized field. Dentists need extra training if they want to work in pediatric dentistry.
Pediatric dentists specialize in dentistry for children. They treat their patients from infancy through their teenage years. They understand problems and complications associated with childhood tooth and gum development.
Some pediatric dentists work alongside family or general dentists, but many (like us) open their own practice to provide the best experience for our young patients.
What Types of Treatment are Involved in Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentists can do everything that general dentists do, just for younger patients. They have smaller tools, but otherwise, the procedures are the same.
Pediatric dentistry mostly focuses on prevention. A pediatric dentist will do routine check-ups and professional cleanings so your child can maintain good oral health.
They also offer patient education. They’ll teach you how to take care of your child’s teeth when they’re too young to do so. They’ll also educate you about proper nutrition as it pertains to oral health.
They can offer early assessments about orthodontic care even if a child isn’t old enough to get braces. They’ll be able to refer you to orthodontists when your child is ready.
If necessary, they can diagnose dental health conditions and perform restorative care.
What Are the Benefits of Pediatric Dentistry?
So why would you take your child to a pediatric dentist instead of a family dentist?
There’s nothing wrong with family or general dentists, but visiting a pediatric dentist may be best. Here are a few reasons that parents prefer to find the best pediatric dentist for their children.
Pediatric Dentists Understand Child-Specific Dental Problems
The extra training that pediatric dentists receive prepares them for any and all child-specific oral health problems.
Children’s teeth and jaws are still developing. Because of this, they face unique issues that adults with all of their permanent teeth will not encounter.
Pediatric dentists are experts at prevention when it comes to your child’s dental health. They can catch problems before they actually happen so your child can have good dental health all the way through adulthood.
Better Parent (and Child) Education
A good pediatric dentist will be able to educate both you and your child (if they’re old enough) about appropriate dental health and hygiene. Again, general dentists are also capable of this, but because they aren’t experts in pediatric dental health, they may have some “blind spots.”
Parent education is one of the most important factors when it comes to childhood oral health. Parents who know how to take care of their infant’s or toddler’s teeth and gums make a huge difference.
A good pediatric dentist can teach you everything. You’ll learn how to brush your infant’s gums when they don’t yet have all of their teeth, when you should start stopping your child from sucking their thumb, how to handle loose baby teeth, and more.
May Help Children Avoid Future Dental Anxiety
Did you know that up to nine percent of children experience dental anxiety? Dental anxiety is common amongst people of all ages, but a good pediatric dentist might be able to help.
There are several factors that go into this.
First, when you consistently take your child to the same dentist from infancy through their teenage years, they’ll be more comfortable when it’s time for an appointment. They’ll form a bond with their dentist.
Because pediatric dentists are experts at treating children, they know how to keep them calm during appointments. The experience won’t be stressful so children won’t associate the dentist with anxiety.
Pediatric Dentists Know How to Speak to Children
One of the reasons that pediatric dentists are so adept at keeping children calm is that they know how to talk to them. They understand that “talking down” to children isn’t effective. Instead, they try to meet children at their level.
Pediatric dentists can explain somewhat complex topics in a way that young children can understand. They can make procedures that would otherwise seem scary more approachable. Even a filling or root canal won’t be scary with a good pediatric dentist.
If a child has questions, a pediatric dentist will know how to answer them without being patronizing.
The Waiting Rooms Are More Comfortable
This might seem like a small factor, but it’s important. Pediatric waiting rooms are more comfortable for children than the waiting rooms in general dentist offices.
Pediatric dental office waiting rooms prioritize keeping children calm while allowing them to have fun. They often incorporate bright colors and decorations that are interesting to children.
Seating areas are comfortable for families and there may be books and toys available while the child waits.
Does Your Child Need a New Dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is essential when it comes to your child’s oral health. A pediatric dentist will be able to treat child-specific dental health problems, keep your child calm, and so much more.
Is your child in need of a new pediatric dentist? We want to meet them! Request an appointment today.