What makes a pediatric dentist different than a non-specialized dentist? A pediatric dentist specializes in issues that are common in infants, children, and teens. For example, cavities are the most common and most preventable chronic disease in children. According to some studies, nearly 50% of children have cavities. Pediatric dentists can help you and your child avoid these issues.
As a child’s body develops, it goes through many changes. Their bones get bigger, and their hormones shift. Your pediatric dentist will be able to keep up with all of these changes, especially those that affect their teeth and gums.
Why is the Dentist Important for Children?
It is a common thought that children’s oral health isn’t very important because their baby teeth will fall out. However, this is not the case. The health of baby teeth is just as essential as adult teeth.
While it is true that children begin to lose primary teeth around six or seven, the dental problems they have in childhood can linger. For example, if a child has a cavity that progresses into advanced tooth decay, it can affect the adult teeth that have yet to erupt. This means that the decay can spread to their adult teeth. Additionally, this can disfigure their adult teeth.
The habits that children form when they are young are more likely to carry into their adult lives. If they are taught to take care of their teeth, they will take care of them as adults. Children with good oral health habits have a decreased risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
Why See a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are trained to work with children. We are aware that children don’t necessarily like going to the dentist, and their behavior can reflect this. If a dentist specializes in working with children, they know how to make their dental appointments run as smoothly as possible.
It is hard for some adults to sit still during their routine appointments. Therefore, it is hard to expect children to do the same. Pediatric dentists are more understanding and can help make your child more comfortable.
Pediatric dentists are more equipped to teach children (and parents) proper oral hygiene. Because habits learned in childhood can carry into adulthood, oral hygiene needs emphasis.
Since pediatric dentists specialize in treating children and teens, they are more likely to diagnose certain dental issues early.
What Services Do They Provide?
The list of services a pediatric dentist can provide is lengthy. Like most dentists, they give a comprehensive oral exam, including teeth cleanings. With infants, however, an x-ray is not necessary unless the dentist expects tooth decay. Pediatric dentists also diagnose improper bite patterns, allowing them to treat them earlier. This can prevent a worsening of symptoms.
Along with other routine dentistry, pediatric dentists can help detect oral health issues that are related to certain health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes.