Pediatric dentists care for the teeth, mouth and gums of patient throughout their entire childhood, from infancy to adolescence, also providing treatment for children with special health needs. Pediatric dentists care for primary sets of teeth, which typically appear at around 6 months of age, as well as secondary or permanent sets of teeth. Permanent teeth appear at around ages 6 or 7 as the primary set falls out. Pediatric dentistry focuses on teaching children proper oral hygiene so that they can hopefully avoid oral issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
What types of treatments do pediatric dentists perform?
A pediatric dentist performs a variety of treatments and services for children including:
- Oral health exams starting as early as infancy
- Diet management to prevent cavities and tooth decay
- Fluoride treatments and dental X-rays
- Dental sealants
- Thorough and professional teeth cleanings
- Repair of cavities
- Assessments and referrals for orthodontic treatment
- Oral habit correction (such as thumb sucking)
- Treatment for dental injuries
- Management of gum disease and pediatric periodontal disease
What can be expected from a visit to a pediatric dentist?
Visits to a pediatric dentist typically begin by a child’s first birthday. The dentist will examine the child’s teeth and gums and may take X-rays. A thorough and professional teeth cleaning will be provided to remove plaque that cannot be removed by daily brushing and flossing alone. Children and parents will be encouraged to follow up with good at-home oral hygiene practices to prevent additional visits to the dentist. Checkups will most likely be scheduled every six months, unless there is a particular problem.
Why choose a pediatric dentist for your child?
A pediatric dentist is the pediatrician of dentistry. Pediatric dentists receive special training, in addition to dental school, to care for children of all ages and are prepared to teach children about good oral hygiene. They can also advise parents as to the types of foods their children should avoid to prevent tooth decay. Since many children may fear visits to the dentist, pediatric dentists pride themselves in creating a calm and friendly environment for children to visit. Offices are typically designed with children in mind. A pediatric dentist is skilled and knowledgeable in the unique dental needs of children. Pediatric dentists know how to be patient with young children and help them to feel comfortable during exams.