Many parents wonder, “Why does my child need a pediatric dentist? Won’t any dentist do?” While it’s true that every dentist knows each mouth is different and requires individualized care, a pediatric dentist will have the experience and know-how to ensure a child’s dental health with the extra care and gentility that a child’s teeth require.
The sooner that children receive dental care, the better chance they have for healthy teeth throughout adolescence, and on into adulthood. It is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) that parents establish an ongoing relationship with their child’s dentist. A child’s dentist should also have a basic knowledge of the parents’ dental history as well so that any hereditary problems can be diagnosed properly.
Children are generally not at risk of early tooth decay if they have a dentist who knows their history and has educated their parents on home care. Most people don’t know that pediatric dentists, in addition to four years of dental school, have two more years of residency training in dentistry for children and infants. A pediatric dentist can give each parent individual tips for how to spot cavities in their child’s teeth. That way, should a cavity arise, it can be taken care of quickly. A pediatric dentist can also tell you how to regulate fluoride, milk, juice and other potentially sugary liquids so that the child’s teeth don’t suffer from overexposure to sugar. They will also tell how often to get checkups, how to brush the child’s teeth, and how to treat the teeth after meals. No matter how many preventative factors can be applied to everyone, each child will require an individual plan.
One of the best ways to ensure an infant’s dental health is to seek counseling early and keep the baby’s mouth clean before the teeth even start coming in. There are common behaviors among parents and children, particularly infants, that pediatric dentistry often assists in eradicating. Though baby bottle tooth decay prevention and other forms of preventative dental hygiene are fairly simple, the fact remains that every patient’s teeth are different, and requires a well-mitigated plan that a parent can rely on to keep their child’s teeth healthy. A pediatric dentist can make sound judgment calls about what exactly an individual set of teeth needs to thrive and grow.
Adolescence is the time to receive preventative dental care. Our office, as well as The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by one year of age. We strive to make each and every visit to our offices a fun one! Contact us for your first appointment today!