The typical adult understands the importance of visiting with a general dentist at least once every six months. However, the oral health of infants and children is often overlooked as parents tend to assume immediate professional dental treatment is unnecessary from the get-go. The truth is pediatric dentists play a vitally important role in laying the groundwork for oral health in the years to come. Furthermore, these professionals treat an array of dental health maladies that arise in the early months and years that general dentists are not trained to treat.
Pediatric dentists exist to improve the oral health of infants and kids. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry1 insists children should visit with a pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth is visible. However, parents should not wait any longer than the child’s first birthday to visit with a pediatric dentist. Successive pediatric dental visits are necessary in six-month increments.
If you have not brought your little one to the pediatric dentist and he or she is beyond a year in age, don’t panic. It is never too late to visit with the dentist. Meet with our pediatric dentist so we can analyze your child’s oral health, set the stage for a cavity-free future and implement a 6-month pediatric dental routine for sustained oral health.
Plenty of readers will question why it is necessary to bring their child to the pediatric dentist2 once every six months. There are several reasons why it makes sense to have your child meet with the pediatric dentist at this frequency. For one, young teeth are especially susceptible to decay. If your child has a sweet tooth, he or she is that much more likely to have one or several cavities.
Bringing your child to the pediatric dentist once every six months creates a routine he or she will abide by for the years to come. Get your child into the habit of meeting with the dentist at these regular intervals and there will be a launching point for continued oral health success as time moves forward. Visiting with the pediatric dentist with regularity at an early age is also helpful in that it educates your child on the basics of oral health and importance of flossing, brushing and professional teeth cleaning.
Baby teeth require professional dental attention just like adult teeth. Your child will have his or her baby teeth for only a few years. These early teeth typically loosen around the age of six. Though baby teeth will eventually fall out, they must be properly cared for while in the mouth. Keep in mind, there is always a chance the baby teeth will end up in the mouth all the way until the teenage years. Bring your child to the pediatric dentist for a complete analysis and treatment of your child’s baby teeth. The pediatric dentist will gauge the level of decay, help your child establish teeth-friendly habits and keep those baby teeth as healthy as possible.
Bring your child to the pediatric dentist for an examination, cleaning and incremental progress monitoring. The dental team will gauge your child’s tooth development, check for cavities, look for signs of impaction and monitor tooth spacing and alignment. Each of these dental problems should be addressed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some parents do not bring their child to a pediatric dentist, choosing to wait until the adolescent years to meet with a general dentist. This approach almost always results in completely preventable oral health problems that prove physically painful and financially draining.
Pediatric dentists provide dental health services similar to those available at general dentistry offices, yet the treatment is catered to youngsters. Pediatric dentists use diminutive oral instruments to fit the comparably small mouths of child patients. Furthermore, pediatric dentists treat patients in a very careful and gentle manner to ensure complete comfort throughout the session.
In terms of specific services, pediatric dentists provide everything from oral health exams to identify risk for decay and cavities to treatment for orthodontic conditions such as an improper bite. These oral health specialists also pinpoint oral health issues in the early stages of development, provide care for dental injuries, habit counseling and a number of helpful preventive measures. Examples of such preventive measures include fluoride treatment, dental cleanings and patient education regarding proper nutrition for oral health. Fluoride treatments are especially important for youngsters. There is a good chance your child will be provided with a dental fluoride treatment after his or her initial cleanings. Fluoride bolsters tooth enamel strength to prevent damage from plaque, tartar, and bacteria that ultimately leads to tooth decay. Though fluoride is found in tap water and some other natural sources, children need additional fluoride provided by pediatric dentists.
Pediatric dentists are trained to detect oral health problems as they develop. These professionals know exactly what to look for when assessing patient oral health. Parents of children who struggle with thumb sucking and/or pacifier sucking will find treatment and guidance provided by the pediatric dentist to be quite helpful. Pediatric dentists know exactly how to alter these destructive behaviors through strategic habit counseling. If your child has any such oral health problems or if you have not yet brought your little one to the pediatric dentist, you have nothing to lose by scheduling an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Are you the parent of a little one? If you have not brought your child to a pediatric dentist, are looking for a new pediatric dentist or need general dentistry for an adult in your family, we are at your service. Contact our office at (925) 693-7077 to learn more about pediatric dentistry and schedule an appointment.