According to the American Dental Association (ADA), individuals are supposed to start seeing a dentist as soon as they turn one year old or develop their first tooth. Early preventive oral care is seen as the best way to preserve optimal oral health and wellness, which is why it is important to seek out pediatric dentistry.
Pediatric or children’s dentistry is exactly what it sounds like: Specialized oral healthcare designed to address the unique needs of children, or individuals who have not reached puberty. A pediatric dentist is a medical specialist who underwent additional training to better address the needs of children to ensure optimal oral health.
However, why is it so important to seek a specialist? Why is children’s dentistry significant? And what does a children’s dentist actually do?
Children’s dentistry is an important part of maintaining proper oral health for kids who have not yet reached puberty. As kids, the mouth and jaws are constantly growing and changing, which makes them prone to special issues adults no longer face. For example, children are more likely to develop under and overbites because of dental crowding.
A skilled pediatric dentist is responsible for identifying issues early in life and creating custom treatment plans to address these problems in a minimally invasive manner. One great example of the role of a children’s dentist is spotting the early signs of orthodontic displacement. If an overbite can be treated before it has time to set, a young patient has a better chance of developing healthy, strong, and properly placed teeth.
Children’s dentistry is also essential for providing proper education and feedback not only to kids but also to parents. When children are young, they are often left in charge of their own oral healthcare without understanding the implications, risks, and how to care for their smile properly.
A pediatric dentist is responsible for teaching children why it is important to brush and floss their teeth on a regular basis. The right individual can also demonstrate the proper techniques and offer creative or unique methods to ensure oral hygiene is being accomplished. One common method taught by a children’s dentist to their patients is to internally sing the alphabet song two times while brushing to ensure all of the plaque is removed.
Besides the children, a pediatric dentist also educates the parents. Parenting is not an innate skill, and many people are prone to mistakes or need a little extra assistance to get things right. When parents bring their kids to a children’s dentist, the specialist offers education in a broad array of subjects that affect oral health. Parents learn how to care for their child’s teeth, what kind of foods affect oral health, what behaviors their children should avoid, and how to be a good role model.
Each children’s dental office will offer a variety of treatments, but there are some consistencies. The majority of pediatric dentists will focus on the following types of care:
Depending on the age of the patient, the dentist can also give advice on subjects like pacifier usage, when to start incorporating treats into the diet, and what foods should be avoided to maintain healthy teeth. The dentist is also responsible for identifying problems early and creating a custom treatment plan that ensures optimal oral health and wellness for the child.
Being a children’s dentist is a tough profession because it requires years of education and training, as well as the thorough application of knowledge. The right dentist for you and your family will not only focus on wellness but will also make a visit to the dentist enjoyable and memorable. After all, many kids fear the dentist, but there is no reason to.
If you are searching for a pediatric dentist in Huntington, NY, and would like to work with experienced professionals, consider contacting us at Smile Huntington. Our children’s dentistry emphasizes not only the importance of health but also education and having a great time while in the office.