Planning your child’s first dentist appointment? Rather than going to your regular dentist, choose a pediatric dentist who is focused on children’s oral health.
Specialization in Children’s Teeth
Pediatric dentists face a challenging and important job: caring for the oral health of children. Treating younger patients requires extra skill and special attention, so pediatric dentists must complete two to three years of additional specialty training focused solely on the needs of infants to adolescents. They know the unique problems that children face, such as cavities and gum problems. They also understand the complexities of how teeth grow and develop and can keep an eye out for potential problems. Lastly, pediatric practitioners have experience dealing with frightened children and can help your child feel at ease and comfortable at the dentist.
The right pediatric dentist will help patients establish good habits early, from proper brushing and flossing to achieving a positive attitude about twice-yearly check-ups. This means working with the entire family involved in maintaining a child’s daily oral health.
Smaller Child-Friendly Equipment
While there’s nothing wrong with using standard-sized dental equipment on children, it’s nice that pediatric dental offices use smaller equipment specifically designed for a child’s mouth. Additionally, many pediatric dentists help ease your child into dental exams by introducing one piece of equipment at a time. This can help children get used to the complex and often “scary-looking” equipment without overwhelming them.
Specialized children’s dental practices are decked out in brightly-colored décor, complete with toys and games in the waiting room, to help your child feel more at home. Many practices also play popular children’s cartoons to distract your child during the exam. They hand out stickers or toys at the end of the appointment to help build up your child’s level of comfort. Additionally, when your child sees other children having a positive dental experience, she can use this as a model to follow.
Focus on Preventative Care
Pediatric dentists also focus on prevention of dental problems to ensure lifetime of good dental health. Pediatric practitioners can give you advice and teach your child about developing healthy habits, like twice-a-day brushing and flossing. A pediatric dentist will also have the latest information on preventative treatments (such as topical fluoride treatments) as they pertain specifically to children.
Your child’s oral health is very imperative. “Baby” teeth or primary teeth can help in building a passage that permanent teeth can follow in and also help your children speak clearly and chew easily. Utilizing a professional whose expertise is in Pediatric Dentistry for your child’s dental hygiene will prevent troubles later on in life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that you plan for your child to see a Pediatric Dentist before their first birthday or after their first tooth shows.