Similar to medicine, dentistry has different categories and specialties, from orthodontics to endodontics. Dentists who handle children are pediatric dentists. Pediatricians are not trained in pediatric dentistry, so parents need to educate themselves about their child’s dental needs and how to take care of them.
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry specifically focused on children’s teeth from infancy to adolescence. However, before you visit a pediatric dentist near you, there are seven important things you need to know, and they include:
While it may be tempting to take your child to a general dentist, you should visit a children’s dentist instead. General dentists address different dental needs in people of all ages, but they do not specialize in any particular dental procedure. Pediatric dentists receive a two-year post-training, where they are trained on the different needs of children. They also receive training on the behavioral and psychological needs of children. The dentists can handle all kid’s personalities professionally. Furthermore, they have a kid-friendly environment to relax the children before and during the procedure.
It is recommended that you take your child to a dentist near you once the first tooth comes out or right before their first birthday. This is the right time for the dentist to detect any abnormalities with the gums. The first dental visit lasts about 30 minutes and involves examining the gums. The dentist will also clean the gums with a wet, clean cloth to remove the buildup. It is recommended that you visit a pediatric dentist for an assessment and cleaning every six months.
While taking your child to a dentist is vital, it is only one part of the puzzle. What you do at home is crucial to your child’s oral health. It is important to teach your children the best way to brush their teeth and what toothbrush to use. Ensure you clean your child’s gums after feeding to prevent plaques from accumulating. After the first tooth come out, get a kid-friendly toothbrush with soft bristles. You can use pea-sized fluoride toothpaste when the child turns two. Fluoride treatments are recommended from age six to strengthen the teeth.
A pediatric dental clinic is a one-stop-shop, meaning you will get several dental treatments in one place:
Dental exams and cleaning
Dental sealants that help protect the teeth from bacteria and decay
Restorative dental procedures like dental fillings and root canal
Emergency dental services come in handy when an accident occurs or your child’s teeth get knocked out.
The baby teeth come out at six months and act as placeholders. The primary teeth also guide the secondary ones on how they come out. That is why it is important to protect them with proper dental health. Any premature loss of these teeth will cause the permanent teeth to come out crooked or crowded. Our Billerica dentist recommends pediatric dental crowns to protect the primary teeth from damage until they fall out.
Pediatric dentists address the oral needs of children from infancy to young adulthood. This means that your child will not have to change the dentist until they are around 21 years. Having one dentist create a dental home establishes trust between the dentist and your child.
Orthodontists are important because they assess teeth and jaw development. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist at age 7. This is when the permanent teeth start to come out and the best time to notice any abnormal growth with the teeth and jaw and start the treatment on time.
Visit or book an appointment with One Dental Care for more information about pediatric dentistry in Billerica, MA, the available treatments, and how they can benefit you.