All About Pediatric Dentistry

What Is A Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)?

Has your child ever begged you not to leave the dentist? Impossible you say? Not at our office. It could be our gentle touch and special way with kids. Our pediatric specialists and staff love children and are specially trained to put them at ease. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth and just as important, they learn that going to the dentist can be fun. Additionally, there is more rigorous and extensive training required to be a Periodontist. This is why it is more ideal and suitable for your child to seek a Pediatric Dentist for their oral health.

In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, our pediatric dental specialists are uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health using the most advanced techniques, and all in our delightfully friendly open treatment area. Not only does a pediatric dentist graduate from regular dental school, but they are expected to complete an additional two to three year specialized pediatric training residency. This is crucial because during these residencies, dentists learn how to work with smaller mouths and utilize more advanced methods to ensure children will be comfortable throughout their visit and procedures.

It is important that the pediatric dentists teach the children the importance of good oral hygiene, as well as educate the parents on the different of maintenance required specifically for their child’s mouth. Pediatric dentists are also professionals that are qualified to treat patients with special needs.

A pediatric dental office is much different in appearance compared to it’s typical adult counterpart. There are colorful and fun designs aimed towards making the child less intimidated and, most importantly, provide a fun atmosphere! The offices are usually equipped with several televisions playing movies and cartoons, while the treatment room is also equipped with child sized technology and chairs more suitable for younger patients.

The dental office can be a very overwhelming experience for a young child, which is why it is crucial to for them to be introduced at an early age and also to the proper dental professional. Pediatric dentists are well versed in early childhood behavior and development. A patient’s needs continuously change as they grow up, and this is why it is important for them to regularly see a dentist who is highly trained and proficient in handling a wide range of mouth structures as the patient gets older.

What Dental Problems Could My Child Have?

Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood tooth decay, a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle (or breast) too long. Another problem is gum disease. About 40 percent of children two to three years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues. Oral habits (such as digit sucking) should also be checked. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances of preventing problems. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, speak clearly, and feel good about his or her appearance.

Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Primary teeth are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development, and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth, and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren’t treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for years.

What Should I Tell My Child About Their First Dental Visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe store. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth. If you are nervous about the trip, then the less you say the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have radar for these things). We will send you an activity/coloring book before the appointment that will explain everything. Have fun going through it with your child. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

What About Preventative Care?

Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.

What About Sterilization?

Your health and peace of mind are always our primary concern; therefore, we use state-of-the-art sterilization procedures. After each patient’s visit, the treatment area is thoroughly disinfected. We ultrasonically clean and heat-sterilize all non-disposable instruments. Our staff wears gloves and masks during procedures. Please feel free to ask us for information on the measures we take to ensure the safety of you and your children or a tour of our sterilization area.