When it comes to your children, they require the same standard of dental care that adults do in order to keep their teeth healthy and strong, even if they’re going to lose most of them! Although your child can see any dentist for regular check ups from the time their first teeth erupt, it can be worth your while to find one who specializes in treating children. That’s where pediatric dentistry comes in!
Today’s Orthodontics + Pediatric Dentistry are proud to offer pediatric dentistry services to our community. But what exactly is involved in pediatric dentistry? Why do we recommend it for infants and children?
Let’s take a closer look at what pediatric dentistry is, what a pediatric dentist does, and how this dental specialty can benefit your child.
What is pediatric dentistry?
Put simply, pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry specializing in the dental care of children ranging in age from infants through adolescence. The focus is on the specific issues related to children’s oral health, including the emotional and developmental stages that can have a big impact on how a child handles their dental appointment.
One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology. This can be seen in the way pediatric dental practices put special emphasis on creating a friendly, fun, and sociable atmosphere for their young patients. Many pediatric dentists are also taught to always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” or “injection.”
Because dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, it’s extremely important that children have positive early dental experiences. Pediatric dentistry works to create the kind of environment that children will view as relaxing and rewarding, leading to their first “dental home” and a lifelong trust in the importance of regular dental care.
All about pediatric dentists
Pediatric dentists fulfill many important functions related to children’s overall oral health and hygiene. Particular attention is paid to the proper maintenance and care of their baby teeth. Although these teeth are temporary, they’re instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits and proper speech, and also hold space for the incoming permanent teeth.
Pediatric dentists receive additional formal training that general dentists don’t. They spend about two to three years training after completing four years of dental schooling. This training focuses on child psychology, dental growth, and the development of infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.
Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they’re often better equipped to handle the problems that can commonly occur with children’s mouths, such as cavities, tooth decay, delayed loss of baby teeth, and wisdom teeth trouble. They are also qualified to administer sedation to patients who may be undergoing more intensive dental treatments.
Pediatric dentists also contribute to children’s overall oral health in other important ways, such as:
Pediatric dentists are able to educate children on the importance of healthy teeth by using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology. They also advise parents on disease and trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the dental hygiene routines at home.
By tracking growth and development from a very early age, pediatric dentists are able to anticipate any potential dental issues and intervene before they worsen. This kind of early corrective treatment also help to keep a child’s self-esteem intact, by fostering a more positive self-image.
Pediatric dentists are instrumental in helping parents and children establish solid eating and oral care habits, which in turn reduces the chances of tooth decay developing later in life. They provide check ups, dental cleanings, apply dental sealants and topical fluoride, advise parents on bad oral habits, and offer demonstrations to children on how to properly brush and floss.
In some cases, early oral treatments may be indicated. In the case of oral injury, a bad bite, or an unconscious habit such as teeth grinding, space maintainers could be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may be scheduled.
Now that you know what pediatric dentistry is, and what pediatric dentists do, let’s discuss how your child could benefit from their care!
Cool, collected, and calm
Because pediatric dentists see and work with children daily, they are highly familiar with the concerns children have when coming to the dentist. This knowledge allows them to tailor their approach based on these concerns. With more experience than traditional dentists in calming children and helping them feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair, pediatric dentists also tend to employ child-friendly dental hygienists and other support staff to work alongside them, ensuring their young patients will be met with a consistently calm environment.
Developmentally based dental care
Pediatric dentists are trained in how to instill healthy dental habits based on your child’s age and development. For example, the first few dental visits would likely focus on teaching young children how to properly care for their teeth and gums. As they grow, the focus will shift, from things like promoting the healthy development of adult teeth to fine-tuning lifelong, healthy dental hygiene practices.
Turning dental care into an adventure
Pediatric dentists have a unique opportunity to build their offices around their young patients, so they’re often a lot more fun than a conventional dental office! Liberal use of color, patterns, and even themed decor such as aquatic life, woodland scenes, or even outer space, often adorn the walls and open spaces. Waiting areas will generally feature entertaining options for children to keep them occupied as they wait, such as game systems, tablets, or toys. You may even have a hard time convincing your child to leave when their appointment is over!
Trusting Today’s Orthodontics + Pediatric Dentistry with your child’s smile
We believe your child’s first visit to the dentist is important in establishing a strong, positive foundation for a lifetime of healthy oral habits. Our friendly, experienced staff is highly trained in providing caring, compassionate, and nurturing experiences for your child. It’s our goal to provide positive interactions at every visit, by making sure each experience is easy and nonthreatening. By getting to know you, your child, and their personal needs, we’re able to make dental care a fun experience!
Additionally, we offer in-office nitrous services to children who have severe anxiety or special needs which would normally prevent them from undergoing routine dental care. Our dentists are also hospital-trained and affiliated with outpatient care facilities to provide dental treatment safely for those patients who have more complex needs and require general anesthesia.
If you’re in the Canton, Novi, or surrounding areas, and want to know more about what pediatric dentistry has to offer your child, get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment, or click here to make an appointment request. Are you ready to start your child on the road to a healthy smile that will last a lifetime? Today’s the day to make it happen!