Early dental care for children is essential since it lays a foundation for perfect oral health as they grow older. Good oral hygiene practices should start at infancy, even before the first tooth develops. Some people may not be aware that a baby’s oral hygiene should be maintained from the moment they are born. A damp clean cloth is commonly used to wipe off food residue and plaque from an infant’s gum. It is also vital for parents and guardians to be informed on pediatric dentistry to ensure the child’s dental needs are met.
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is the care of children by dentists and parents from their childhood through adolescence. Pediatric dentistry is important because it handles children at a critical stage that determines their dental well-being as they grow older and become adults. Health professionals in this department are required to enroll in additional classes to ensure they provide quality services to children. Pediatric specialists work extensively to reduce the risk of emergencies and complex dental needs.
Pediatric dentists offer young patients with suitable treatment plans that address a child’s individual needs. During the first visits, a child is examined and would undergo several assessments depending on their oral health condition. Parents are encouraged to be more active in implementing practices that promoted oral health. This can be achieved by asking questions about the child’s condition and learning skills to solve some of the oral problems. This will assist them in making informed decisions. Understanding a child’s oral health will go a long way in solving issues such as thumb sucking and knowing how they affect a child’s health.
When should a child visit a dentist?
The average age for a child to make the first visit is when the first tooth starts to break through the gums or when they are about one year old. After this visit, pediatric dentists recommend them to come twice a year. The first visit may be difficult for children since they are not used to the environment. However, the dentists are trained to make the situation fun and as comfortable as possible. Developing a child’s interest in good dental care is likely to help the child into adulthood. This will set the stage for minimal dental conditions in the future.
Why pediatric dentistry is important
The primary purpose of pediatric dentistry is to help children establish good oral hygiene practices when they are still young. Many children that have teeth, especially ages two and above, are at a greater risk of developing cavities. The CDC reported that this affects more than 20 percent of the children in this age bracket. Pediatric dental care fulfills the following functions.
- The pediatric dentist can notice problems that would go unnoticed or cannot be seen with the naked eye
- The child receives services only available at a dentist’s office. Such services include the removal of plaque and tartar that cannot be eliminated by brushing and flossing
- Parents will get to expand their knowledge on children’s’ oral health and how to treat minor oral conditions
- Children will learn the importance of oral health
Pediatric Dentistry services
Pediatric dentists provide a number of essential services to guarantee good oral health for children. Most clinics offer a seven day a week emergency dental service and treatment of dental conditions that need special care.
Some of these child dentistry services include:
- Dental cleanings
- Tooth decay prevention
- Oral health examination
- Root Canal
- Tooth extractions
- Orthodontic evaluation and treatment
- Oral health consultations
- Digital x-rays
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Fluoride treatments
- Night guards
- Athletic mouth guards
- Space maintainers