The Pediatric Dentist and Your Baby’s Wellness
A baby’s wellness is all that matters to a parent, and a pediatric dentist is a vital partner when it comes to ensuring your young one’s good oral health.
Of course, choosing a pediatric dentist over your general family dentist can sometimes prove difficult. However, it’s a decision worth making because a kids’ dentist is specially trained to handle kids and are better positioned to ensure that your child doesn’t experience the fears that could result from visiting a dental office who doesn’t specialize in treating little patients.
We asked Dr. Holly Gregory, a pediatric dentist in Kingwood, TX for advice on the matter. Here’s what she has shared with us.
Why a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are specialists in children’s oral health matters and are specifically trained to offer special dental care needs to even the tiniest of patients.
In addition to the minimum of four years of dental school training, pediatric dentists also undergo an additional two years of residency training. As a resident, they receive in-depth knowledge in the anatomy of infants, children, and teenagers.
This extensive education enables them to offer more specialized oral treatment beyond the standard oral health examinations; they master tooth cavity repairs, tooth injuries management, as well the management of gum diseases such as ulcers and pediatric periodontal disease.
And since they’re trained to do all these, you can rest assured of a more child-friendly dental examination and treatment that will leave your child longing for the next visit.
In addition to the child-friendly environment, pediatric dentists also use special equipment designed with children in mind. Tools designed for their small mouths makes the entire process comfortable rather than painful.
Wondering when to schedule your child’s first dental care visit?
Most pediatric dentists recommend scheduling your first appointment as soon as your child’s first tooth appears—which is often around the age of six months. The first visit should never be later than his/her first birthday.
This first appointment helps protect your child’s primary teeth from potential dental diseases and encourages their healthy development.
Many parents are surprised to learn that primary teeth play a vital role in a child’s development and ensure their overall good health.
Importance of “baby teeth”
As a crucial part of any child’s health and development, “baby teeth” or primary teeth:
- Allow for easy eating as they aid chewing and proper digestion of food. This, in turn, helps your child to maintain proper nutrition and adds to his/her oral and overall sound health.
- Aid clear speech while also helping the child develop better pronunciation, minimizing the chances of speech impediments.
- Aid the proper development of your child’s jaw and bite.
- Promote a good smile hence boosting a child’s confidence. 5. Help guide the eruption and position of your child’s permanent teeth, minimizing the chances of overlapping or crowded teeth.
The Benefits of Early Dental Checkups in Children
Your child’s first dental checkup comes with several benefits including:
Early detection of concerns
Early detection of oral problems Just as adults, children’s teeth are prone to decay–a scenario that can occur even with your child’s first tooth. Therefore, visiting a pediatric specialist early enough helps ensure that such problems are noted and treated on time to avoid any future complications.
It also allows for risk assessment in line with family dental history and thereby enabling the dentist to recommend appropriate preventive measures to minimize the baby’s risk of developing an oral problem.
Helps alleviate dental fears
Freaking out at the mention of a dental visit is almost inevitable even for mature adults, and this is also the case for your kid(s). However, the earlier you begin the visits, the more your kids will grow accustomed to the environment and view the practice as routine.
It’s even better to make the first appointment before your young one develops a dental problem so that he/she may not associate visiting a dentist with a painful experience or an emergency.
Though at times the checkups may not be inherently enjoyable, the idea of taking the earliest opportunity to get your child familiarized with dental office visits dramatically helps with his/her ability to practice a lifetime of proper oral hygiene.
Get professional dental care advice
Since they’re well trained to offer child oral health care, a pediatric dentist can guide you on how to take good care of your child’s teeth–how to clean them plus the best oral care products to use.
Besides guiding and answering your questions, a pediatric dentist can also discuss how to teach your child to brush teeth. And, they can recommend the ideal diet and fluoride needs for the sound development of your child’s teeth.
Ready for your child’s first appointment? Schedule a visit with a reputable kids’ dentist in your area to place your child on the path to robust teeth.