What can pediatric dentistry offer that general dentistry cannot? Some dentists are specifically trained to treat different age groups and/or conditions. Others specialize in root canals (endodontics), family dentistry or more. Pediatric dentistry is a specialized form of dentistry that involves extra training and certification beyond general dentistry. These dentists are schooled in child psychology and receive training for performing dental work on children and even infants. Find out why family and pediatric dentistry is very important for your child’s oral health and yours!
When you think of dentists, you probably don’t think about all the different types of dentists out there. Every dentist will have different training from another, even if their skill set is similar. There are areas of dentistry such as cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, family or general dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics and many more. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving aesthetics of the face and mouth and correcting appearances with the alignment of the teeth. These includes services such as porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and dental implants.
Pediatric dentistry is an area that solely focuses on the oral health of children and infants. Family and general dentistry will include all different types of dentistry that includes pediatric, adult, cosmetic, restorative and other types of dental services. We practice family dentistry, which means that we can provide dental services for children, infants, teens and adults. This allows us to see entire families for their care instead of family members having to go to different dentists depending on their age.
Did you know that a child should start seeing a dentist within the first 6 months of getting their first tooth? Many people don’t realize children start seeing the dentist while they are still infants, but it makes sense because infants have teeth too.
However, with pediatric dentistry and even family dentistry, they have to have additional training to work with children. That additional training can take years, as dentists train in child psychology and other areas that go above and beyond the baseline training. This is to help dentists know how a child’s mind works, what they worry about, how to help soothe them in the dental office and more. When dentists understand how children think and act, they can better help them to be comfortable during a dental procedure.
The baby teeth aren’t just teeth that will fall out, but teeth that determine the bite and alignment of the mouth and jaws. The baby teeth also are placeholders for the adult teeth that will come in once a child is large enough to fit them. A child’s mouth grows for years, and they have to grow in a certain way and stay healthy if the adult teeth are to come into the mouth in the right place, free of dental decay. If dental decay is present, the baby teeth can fall out prematurely, which can shift the alignment of the adult teeth and can mess with speech and eating abilities.
You don’t have to just worry about brushing and flossing your teeth as an adult. In fact, it’s even more important when a child is young. Pediatric dentistry is so important for a child, as tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 40% of children have decay by the time they reach kindergarten. One reason is because children are not seeing the dentist as they should. Another is that they are not brushing and flossing (or doing these things enough), or they have not be taught the proper technique for keeping their teeth healthy.
Children follow the same guidelines as adults do to avoid tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Children should use a child toothbrush (which is smaller to fit their mouth), and they should be using fluoride toothpaste that helps fight tooth decay. A major cause of tooth decay is sugar, as plaque (the substance that decays your teeth) is made in your mouth from the sugar you eat. Limit your child’s sugar intake to reduce their risk for tooth decay. Most importantly, make sure they are receiving family or pediatric dentistry services like dental cleanings and comprehensive exams. These are some of the best ways to avoid tooth decay.
There are many people that think the baby teeth aren’t that important, when they are integral to the health of your mouth throughout your whole life. When your baby teeth aren’t taken care of properly, the health of the adult teeth are compromised and they don’t come in correctly. Poor oral hygiene habits cultivated in children are habits that will also continue throughout life. Pediatric dentistry is very important for taking care of the delicate baby teeth, especially as a child transitions into having adult teeth.
Because we practice family dentistry, we provide dental services for adults, teens and children alike. We take our family and pediatric dentistry services very seriously and strive to help every patient be healthy. If you have a child (or an infant) that has teeth, we recommend bringing them into the office for their exam and cleaning. Call Mountain Aire Dentistry at (303) 731-7755 to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our pediatric dentistry services!