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What You Must Know About Pediatric Dentistry

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.

What Kind of Training Do Pediatric Dentists Have?

Pediatric dentists have completed at least:

Four years of dental school

Two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs

5 Things Pediatric Dentists Want You To Know

The American Dental Association recognizes February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, and pediatric dentists in Charlotte think it’s a great time to share some very important information on the subject. Here are five things you should know, not just in February, but year round to keep the kiddies happy and healthy:

  • Brush and floss daily. Even very small children can begin to form the habit of cleaning their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes—with and without help from an adult. But brushing alone isn’t enough, so daily flossing is a skill that must be taught as early as possible.
  • Fluoride is helpful. This mineral fights bacteria and strengthens the teeth, so it should be introduced in the form of toothpaste or a mouth rinse as soon as your child is able to spit out the excess paste or mouth wash safely.
  • Mouthguards are necessary. Children who wear mouthguards while playing contact sports are more likely to avoid serious facial and dental trauma.
  • Don’t share germs. The bacteria that are spread between family members when you share utensils, cups, and mouth kisses can cause cavities. Lower the risk for cavities by limiting the transfer of bacteria in your family.
  • Set a good example. Show your children that you value your health and personal hygiene by letting them see that you brush and floss daily. Let your children know that you visit the dentist regularly and consider taking them with you to your next visit so that they can see that you are on your best behavior when you are in the dental chair.

4 Things You Must Know about the Dentist and Children with Special Needs

If you have a child with special needs, understanding the challenges that may arise when taking them to the dentist is essential. There are some common but consequential mistakes being made by well-intentioned parents when it comes to getting dental care for their kids.

Many Have Come Before You

Feedback from parents and dentists over the years provide us with a better understanding of what to expect from our kids when faced with a new environment. Many are set off by the lights and sounds of the dental office, and often react poorly to a stranger using their hands and tools into their mouths to treat dental issues.

The following tips can help you avoid common pitfalls and decrease your child’s chances of developing a debilitating fear of the dentist.

  • Teach Your Child about Their Teeth Early – Begin caring gently for your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth emerges. Celebrate the occasion with your baby and repeat each time a new tooth appears. You might want to read young children stories about their teeth and receiving dental care.  Learning about the smile early will encourage children to value their teeth, leading to better oral habits in the future.
  • Arrange a No-Stress Dental Visit with a Pediatric Dentist at Age One – Too many parents are caught by surprise when a general dentist refuses to treat their child. A good family dental provider will sense their young patients’ ability or inability to receive treatment at that moment and will often refer children with special needs to a pediatric dentist.
  • Use the first visit as a casual meeting with the dentist to familiarize your child to the dental office, chair, and tools. Most pediatric dentists have the skill and chairside manner to put children at ease. They are also experienced with using sedation when necessary.
  • Don’t Skip Dental Appointments – Even if your child is struggling with a fear of the dentist, avoiding the problem will not solve it. All children require dental treatment to preserve and restore their teeth, and a trusted pediatric dentist should be able to help you remove any roadblocks. Rather than missing visits, find a dentist that has the patience and compassion needed to change your child’s opinion of dental care.
  • Turn Their At-Home Oral Hygiene Routine into Quality Family Time – Without pressuring them, try to make a habit of brushing and flossing together. Spending time with your child gives you an opportunity to encourage him or her to use the proper techniques and praise them for a job well done. When you create happy experiences for them to associate with caring for their teeth, they are more apt to put time and effort into maintaining their smile.

Things you should know about pediatric dentistry

General Or “Family” Dentists And Pediatric Dentists Are Not The Same Thing

Should you see a pediatric dentist in Lafayette or Indianapolis, or go to a general or “family” dentist?  Not sure what the difference is? It’s simple. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating kids, while family and general dentists treat patients of all ages.

Having a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree means that an individual has completed 4 years of dental training and passed the required state exams to practice as a general/family dentist.  Pediatric dentistry is different.  A pediatric dental specialist earns a DMD or DDS degree, and then completes 2-3 years of additional training or “residency” at an accredited institution.  The added schooling allows the pediatric dentist to gain additional knowledge in oral development, child-specific dental surgeries, orthodontics for kids, psychology and mental development.

Kids Get All Of Their Baby Teeth By The Age Of 2-3 (And Lose Them By 12-13)

You can expect your first child’s tooth to come out before their first birthday. By the age of about 2 or 3, your kid will have all 20 of their baby teeth, and will be eating and chewing like a champion!

That won’t last too long, however, as kids usually start losing their front teeth at the age of about 6. As their baby teeth fall out, they are replaced by their adult teeth. The rear molars are the last baby teeth to be replaced, and often don’t fall out until the age of about 12-13.

Kids Should Start Seeing The Dentist Earlier Than You May Think

You may think that your kiddos only need to see a pediatric dentist in Lafayette when they get all of their teeth, however, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child should start seeing the dentist much earlier.

How much earlier? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should bring your child to the dentist for the first time when their first tooth erupts, or when they turn one year old, whichever happens first.

This ensures that your child can become familiar with the process of going to the dentist, and that any potential oral health and development issues are identified as early as possible.

Pediatric Dentistry: 8 Children Dental Facts That You Should Know About

It is heartening to see a child that has a smile filled with healthy, beautiful teeth. But what parents and guardians need to know, is that there is more to children’s oral health than basic dental care. What good oral care for children entails is no mystery—brushing, flossing and maintaining visits with a pediatric dentist near you is key to a healthy smile. But beyond that, here are some facts you should learn about children’s dental health. Some of these are tips that can help in enhancing the dental health of your child altogether.

Children have a set of twenty milk teeth

Milk teeth or primary teeth start appearing when a child hits 6 months. They continue erupting until a child turns 3 or 4 years old. Typically, they begin shedding off at age six, especially starting with the two central teeth in the upper and lower jaws.

Your child should have all baby teeth by the age of two and a half

As soon as milk teeth appear, a visit to the dentist near you is required. Making regular visits to a dentist when the child is still young makes them learn the importance of dental checkups as they grow old. They will thank you when they have healthy teeth later on in life due to forming excellent habits at such a young age.

Tooth decay is a prevalent dental disease in children

According to a recent survey, tooth decay is the most prevalent and harmful dental condition among children around the globe. When it goes untreated while a child has their milk teeth, it may spread to permanent teeth. It is worth noting that it can lead to other larger and complicated dental problems.

Sports can cause dental injuries

Children who participate in sports such as rugby, basketball, hockey, or even football are generally more prone to dental injuries. Notably, such children may suffer cracked teeth and fractured roots. These frequent injuries can be solved by ensuring that your little athlete wears proper sports gear—a mouthguard during their activities. If a child suffers a dental injury during a game, treat it as an emergency and go to a dental clinic in NW Edmonton.

Fluoride protects a child’s teeth from the inside

Fluoride is essential for cavity protection. It hardens tooth enamel and re-mineralizes teeth. This is beneficial in reversing the natural breakdown process caused by acidity in the mouth. Your child may start brushing, at least twice a day, once your dentist recommends a fluoride toothpaste. In most cases, this usually occurs at the age of two.

Healthy baby teeth lead to adult healthy teeth

Milk teeth start to fall out around the age of 6 or 7. They are then replaced by the permanent teeth, which stick around for a person’s entire life. Untreated tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to problematic adult teeth. Make efforts and ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and cavity-free into adulthood. It will prove helpful to start early with good daily oral hygiene habits as well as regular dental visits to a pediatric dentist in NW Edmonton.

Bacteria can set off diarrhea and fever during teething

For children, teething may cause sore gums, appetite loss, and disturbed sleep. Bacteria on fingers or toys chewed for relief during milk teeth eruption causes fever or diarrhea. You should take the child to a doctor if any of this occurs during teething.

Sugary foods will ruin your child’s dental health

Brushing and flossing will not help keep your child’s teeth healthy if they have a habit of consuming sugary items. Sugary foods, snacks and beverages will leave plaque on teeth that may lead to the formation of cavities. Instead, encourage your child to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink water instead of juice or pop.