A dentist, in the simplest of terms, is a tooth doctor. A pediatric dentist is a tooth doctor who specializes in treating children’s teeth. You have probably heard some harrowing tales stemming from visits to the dentist. Well, you would be forgiven for being apprehensive, but honestly, go with an open mind.
A pediatric dentist takes care of children’s teeth from infancy to the teenage years. They are trained to not only take care of children’s teeth, gums and mouth; they are also trained to handle children as they handle the treatment.
· The first set of teeth show up in the first 6 months of life.
· Then they begin to lose them from the age of 6. It would seem 6 is the lucky (… or unlucky) number where children and teeth are concerned.
· The baby teeth, as they are commonly known, are then replaced by permanent teeth. Secondary (permanent) teeth come with their own set of issues and if they are not taken care of properly, oral decay and disease may be constant companions. If you have ever suffered a toothache, you know you do not want that. The pain is beyond horrible.
· Childhood dental caries is an infectious disease that is very common in children. Pediatric dentists are equipped to handle such issues competently and calmly. Calm is of utmost importance in a pediatric dentist’s office.
Training for pediatric dentists includes:
- Four years of dental school
- Two years of residency training in pediatrics. This includes dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.
Type of treatments provided by pediatric dentists
They handle all manner of healthcare and maintenance to do with children’s and teenagers’ teeth. These include the following:
· Habit counseling – This has to do with habits that affect the teeth, like the use of pacifiers and thumb sucking.
· Risk assessment – Oral health checks for infants to assess risk for caries in both the child and the mother
· Orthodontics – Teeth alignment and bite checks
· Preventive care – Cleaning and fluoride treatment, and nutritional advice
· Repair – Tooth defects and cavities
· Management – Conditions like mouth ulcers, mucoceles, and periodontal disease, frenula, and gum diseases
· Diagnosis – Oral conditions that arise from complications brought about by ailments and conditions like asthma, diabetes, hay fever, ADHD as well as congenital heart defects
· Dental care – Especially for dental injuries like knocked out, fractured and displaced teeth
A pediatric dentist offers expertise in children’s dental care and is endowed with skills to ensure that the dental experience for the child does not turn out to be a traumatizing experience that fills them with trepidation at the mention of the dental clinic