According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, in order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his or her first birthday. But sometimes, parents delay or hold off on this since they feel that there is not much of a need yet. Given that as children they grow, their teeth will be replaced by permanent ones anyway. While it is true, it may not be a healthy practice down the road. Choosing a dentist is a decision that you need to make as a parent. And at this point, allow us to give you an overview of what we, as pediatric dentists, do.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a trained professional who cares for and treats dental problems that apply to children in particular. Pediatric dentists are considered the pediatricians of dentistry. Generally, a pediatric dentist has completed two (2) extra years of training in dentistry for infants, children, teenagers, and including those with special health needs. That is in addition to four (4) years of dental school. A pediatric dentist provides the same dental services as a general dentist, including oral exams, teeth cleanings, fillings, or tooth extraction. However, pediatric dentists offer more through the following points:
As mentioned earlier, pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of education on top of the usual 4-year course for general dentists. Given this, they become specialized within the dental field. Usually, after dental school, they undergo specialized training through a residency program for at least 2 years to acquire further knowledge in taking care of children’s dental and oral care needs. They are exposed to dental methods specifically created for kids and have been fully trained to treat children’s developing teeth. Pediatric dentists know the distinct dental problems that kids have such as cavities and gum problems. A pediatric dentist can catch tooth issues in advance and prevent costly orthodontia in the long run.
A pediatric dentist is focused on taking care of children’s dental health. They use special tools and techniques for young kids. This “gentle dentistry” techniques make dental visits easier on kids. Pediatric dentists also focus on the prevention of dental problems to help your child enjoy good dental health as he or she grows. They can give a recommendation, provide advice, and teach your child about the importance of healthy dental habits. Being experts and specialists in the field, they also have the most up-to-date information on dental treatments particular to children. As they experience numerous kinds of dental and even medical pediatric problems, they get to understand the complexities of how your child’s teeth grow and develop. They have also encountered dealing with nervous children and can help your child feel at ease and comfortable during your dental visits.
A pediatric dentist will make sure that his or her dental office is inviting for children. Pediatric dental clinics use child-sized equipment and tools are specifically tailored for a child’s mouth. Pediatric dentists may help remove your child’s nerves during oral exams by introducing a dental tool, sometimes even letting your child touch it. Their clinics are also usually with bright and fun colors and decorations, some even with toys and games installed in the waiting areas. The clinics may show cartoon programs on a TV installed near above the dental chair to distract your child during treatment. And when the procedure is done, your child may even receive a sticker for a ‘job well done’. All these enhancements in a pediatric dental clinic can help get your child get excited about going to the dentist.
A growing child’s positive encounter with a pediatric dentist helps him or her to be more comfortable whenever visiting a dental office. When your child grows up, your child will be more likely to visit the dentist, eventually resulting in a lifetime of good dental health.