The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry

A child’s oral health impacts their overall health. Pediatric dentists encourage healthy habits that can last a lifetime by creating positive dental experiences at a young age.

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Pediatric dentistry specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases that affect infants, children, and teenagers, including those with special needs. They provide a range of services that include cleanings, dental x-rays, nutrition counseling, and more.

Preventive Care

Dental care is important for children because germs in the mouth can travel to other parts of the body, causing illness. Regular cleanings by a pediatric dentist will help eliminate these germs and promote good oral health. This can also prevent gum disease, which begins with gingivitis and may lead to tissue loss or even tooth decay. In addition to a professional cleaning, a pediatric dentist can provide sealants and fluoride treatments that prevent tooth decay. Pediatric dentists are also trained to help kids develop healthy brushing and flossing habits that will last a lifetime.

Early Detection and Prevention

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to recognize problems in the teeth and gums and can often spot them at an early stage, which can save kids from discomfort, pain, and expensive treatment down the road. They know how to address issues like gum disease, bite problems, and misaligned teeth. They can also provide services like composite fillings that match the color of a child’s teeth, and they can repair chips and cracks.

Pediatric dentists are also trained to communicate with kids in a way they can understand, and they are experts at providing a soothing environment for nervous or scared patients. They can even teach kids the importance of good oral hygiene, and they can show them proper brushing and flossing techniques and recommend a healthy diet that will promote strong teeth and gums.

Cleanings

A pediatric teeth cleaning is a key preventative measure in the fight against tooth decay and other oral health issues. During the procedure, the dentist uses child-friendly tools to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, giving the child a fresher, healthier smile.

During the cleaning, the pediatric dentist can also identify areas that need more attention. This is especially important because children often lack the brushing skills needed to remove plaque in all of its nooks and crannies. The dentist can then take steps to eliminate these problem areas, reducing bacteria populations and eliminating the risk of tooth decay in those hard-to-reach places.

In addition to removing excess plaque and tartar, the pediatric dentist can also apply sealants to the teeth. These protective coatings prevent the acids that cause cavities from coming into contact with the teeth, protecting them for up to three years.

A professional cleaning is also a great way to nip bad breath in the bud. The dentist can use a special tool to gently scrape the surface of the tongue and cheek, eliminating any unpleasant odors before they have a chance to become worse. In addition, the dentist can provide tips and tricks to help the parent instill proper dental hygiene habits in their child. This will help them maintain a beautiful, healthy smile throughout their lifetime.

Fillings

Dental cavities, also known as holes in the teeth, are caused by bacteria and can be quite painful if not treated early on. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to catch cavities when they’re small and treat them before the damage becomes worse.

Once the tooth is numbed, the dentist uses a drill to remove the decay. The hole that was created in the tooth is then cleaned using special tools and prepped for a filling. Composite resin fillings are typically used because they are color-matched to the surrounding teeth, ensuring that the restoration blends in and looks natural.

Tooth fillings are also often used to repair cracked or chipped teeth. Pediatric dentists will do everything in their power to save a baby tooth, avoiding the need for tooth extraction, which can lead to other teeth shifting and jaw problems.

If a child experiences dental trauma, such as a knocked out or broken tooth, they may need treatment for a tooth filling, pulpotomy, or dental crown to restore the tooth. These restorations can help protect the exposed soft tissue and prevent future damage or infection in the area. Pediatric dentists can provide these treatments in a safe, comfortable setting that’s designed from start to finish with children’s needs in mind. This ensures a positive experience for the entire family and sets kids up for successful dental care in the future.

Routine Checkups

Regular checkups provide the dentist with a window into your child’s oral health, and identifying problems at their earliest stages. They help prevent the formation of cavities, gum disease and other dental issues that may affect your child’s future smile.

During these appointments, the pediatric dentist will examine your child’s teeth, gums and jaw for signs of tooth decay or abnormalities. The dentist will also use this time to teach children good brushing and flossing habits, focusing on methods that are appropriate for their age.

They will also apply a fluoride treatment, which remineralizes the tooth enamel and staunches bacterial acid attacks on the teeth, helping to prevent or minimize the formation of cavities. Pediatric dentists may also recommend take-home fluoride supplements for children who do not receive this mineral through their community water supply.

The dentist will also take digital X-rays of the child’s mouth, which helps them identify hidden areas that may be developing cavities or other abnormalities. They will also check on old fillings and restorations, as constant pressure from chewing and clenching can cause them to break or chip.

Keeping children on a routine schedule of checkups is a great way to maintain their oral health and build a positive attitude toward dental care that they will carry throughout their life. This is especially important for the development of their primary teeth, which pave the way for permanent teeth.