Pediatric dentists specialize in examining, diagnosing, and treating oral health problems in infants, children, and teenagers. Not only are they trained to focus on the unique dental issues in your child’s gums, teeth, and jaw, but a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist has undergone training beyond the requirements of a general dentist. As a specialist, they are uniquely skilled in caring for the oral health of your child as they grow and develop.
What Makes A Pediatric Practice Special?
Similar to a general dentist, pediatric dentists can provide comprehensive oral care for your child, with services like:
- Teeth cleaning
- Oral health exams and x-rays
- Fluoride treatment and dental sealants
- Dental fillings to repair cavities
- Mouthguards to protect the teeth from sports injuries
- Early detection and diagnosis of oral health issues
- Repair of displaced or fractured teeth from an accident
- Gum disease management
In addition, a pediatric practice is designed to meet the unique and specific dental needs of children and teenagers. Pediatric dentists go through years of education, clinical experience, and training to learn to properly care for your child’s oral health. The specialized training pediatric dentists receive enables them to provide more benefits to your child than a general dentist. Here are just five examples of how our pediatric team will enhance your child’s experience during their next appointment.
1. A Welcoming Environment
A dentist’s office contains many pieces of tools and equipment. While these items are necessary for dentists to perform their work properly, they can also be intimidating and increase dental fear and anxiety in children. That’s why our office is designed to soothe and excite children, so they won’t consider the dentist to be a scary place as they grow up. Unlike the design at a general dental practice, a pediatric practice has fun colors on the walls, games and toys in the lobby, and equipment and furniture that’s uniquely designed to fit young patients.
2. A Team Trained To Care For Children
The team at a pediatric dentist’s office is specially trained and equipped to provide a comfortable environment for your child. For example, our team knows your child may feel scared in an unfamiliar place, so we speak to our patients in a way that is comforting and friendly. We also answer questions on a child’s level, so they feel confident about treatment and excited about their oral health.
If your child becomes overwhelmed or nervous at any time during their appointment, our team can use soothing techniques to relax and calm them. These practices are especially effective if your child is in pain, has special needs, or previous dental trauma.
3. An Effective Approach To Primary Teeth
Caring for primary teeth, also known as “baby teeth,” is just as important as caring for adult teeth. Children’s primary teeth are more susceptible to cavities than our adult teeth because the tooth enamel is thinner and many children will take time to learn proper brushing routines and techniques.
Our Pediatric dental team specializes in ensuring your child’s baby teeth are healthy by teaching good oral health habits, advising your family on proper nutrition, and making sure your child’s development is on track. We also offer treatment for prevention, like topical fluoride and dental sealants that help protect our teeth from cavities. If we detect problems or concerns, our team will treat the teeth with a conservative approach and teach your family the proper skills for long-term health.
4. A Fun Prevention-Based Approach
While brushing and flossing our teeth with proper technique and routine can sometimes feel like a chore, pediatric dentists incorporate fun lessons to teach your child great oral health habits because we know the importance of preventing dental disease at a young age. A child who associates the dentist with positive experiences is less likely to have dental anxiety and more likely to have a healthy mouth well into adulthood.
Our team engages with children by playing games, using interactive education techniques, and rewarding good habits with toys and prizes so our patients are excited to keep coming back. By choosing a pediatric dentist who’s a great fit for your family, you can increase and maintain your kids’ eagerness to implement daily oral hygiene habits that last a lifetime.
5. Child-Friendly Treatments
Did you know the most common chronic disease in children is cavities? Dental caries in children are five times more common than asthma. And according to the CDC, over 50% of children ages 6 to 8 have had a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth.
Dental treatment is necessary, though it can sometimes cause distress. A pediatric dental team will focus on minimizing pain and discomfort, offering open communication, and utilizing modern tools and technology, so your child’s treatment is quick and with minimal pain. Also, because kids are more prone to cavities, pediatric dentists encourage preventative treatments like sealants and fluoride, so we can prevent cavities before they’re formed.
When Should Your Child See A Pediatric Dentist?
Once your child starts developing primary teeth, it’s time for them to visit a pediatric dentist. Typically, their first teeth will erupt within six months of life, so we recommend bringing them to the dentist by their first birthday. Introducing your child to a pediatric dentist early will help increase their comfort with their dental team and ensure they receive proper dental care to prevent oral disease, cavities, and decay.
If your child is old enough to see a pediatric dentist, we suggest speaking with our team to learn more about our approach to patient care. We also invite you to call us to learn how we provide a welcoming, comfortable, and fun environment that puts your child’s oral health first.