As a parent, there are few more frightening things than an emergency involving your child’s dental health. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a pediatric dentist on call, ready to deal with any frightening situations involving your child’s oral health. But what is a pediatric dentist, and why should you choose one over a regular practitioner? Find out more about the benefits of kid dentists with our in-depth article.
What is a pediatric dentist?
Children are susceptible to numerous different dental problems, and the habits formed in childhood can be a significant factor when it comes to ongoing dental health. Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides oral healthcare for infants, children and adolescents. To become a pediatric dentist, you need to complete four years of training and two to three years of residency.
Pediatric dentists treat children from the moment they’re born until they head off to college. After finishing high school, most children will start receiving dental care from a regular practitioner. However, people with specialized dental needs may continue to receive dental care from their pediatric dentist, as they will have a better understanding of their dental history.
What are the benefits of a pediatric dentist?
There are many benefits to receiving care from a professional who is specialized in dentistry for children:
- Pediatric dentists know exactly how to treat developing teeth, as well as the potential issues and problems that children may face, making them the best choice to deal with your child’s dental issues.
- Kid dentists have lots of experience dealing with frightened or uncooperative children, and can help to make them feel at ease in an environment which might otherwise be stressful. They’re also trained to deal with children with special emotional or behavioral needs, such as those with autism, sensory issues, anxiety, or speech/language delays.
- Pediatric dentists tend to focus on preventative dental care, which can help to ensure that your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. They can also help to teach your child about proper brushing and flossing techniques.
- Many children find dental equipment scary. A dentist for kids will have smaller equipment that’s specifically designed for children’s mouths. Although standard equipment can be used for children, the child-friendly equipment provided by pediatric dentists can help to ease any fears that your child may have about their dental exam.
- Dental practices that are specialized in dentistry for children have bright, colorful décor, toys and books for kids to play with. This creates a welcoming environment that offsets any fears or worries and helps to build children’s confidence and comfort level.
What specialized treatments can a kid dentist provide?
There are several specialty services that are provided by pediatric dentists. In addition to treatments for fillings, caries and dental emergencies, dentists for kids can offer the following specialty treatments:
- Additional safeguards and low-dose techniques for children who need to receive a dental x-ray.
- Advice and discouragement of thumb or finger sucking.
- Nutritional advice for infants and children.
- Custom mouth guards for sporty kids.
- Emergency dental care for children who suffer an avulsion, luxation or cracked tooth.
- Infant oral health exams.
- Space management, for children who suffer from the premature loss of a primary tooth.