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What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are committed to the oral health of children from infancy to adolescence. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth at all phases of development.
During the first six months of life, children begin to develop their baby teeth. They begin to lose their initial set of teeth at the age of 6 or 7 years, which are eventually replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without adequate dental care, children are at risk of developing oral decay and illness, which can lead to a lifetime of pain and consequences.
Early childhood dental caries, a contagious disease, is now five times more frequent in children than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?
Pediatric dentists offer complete oral health treatment, which includes the following services:
- Infant oral health examinations, which involve a risk assessment for caries in both the mother and the child
- Cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and food suggestions, are all part of preventive dental care.
- Counseling for bad habits (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
- Early evaluation and treatment for teeth straightening and bite correction (orthodontics)
- Cavities and flaws in teeth can be repaired.
- Diagnosis of oral conditions related to disorders such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Gum disease and condition management, including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, and paediatric periodontal disease
- Dental injuries must be treated (for example, fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth)
Pediatric dentists recommend that children see them twice a year. The initial appointment should be made within six months of your child’s first tooth eruption.
The following are some of the most common oral problems that afflict children:
- Dental caries, often known as tooth decay or cavities, is a type of decay that occurs in the teeth.
- Gingivitis (mild) and paediatric periodontal disease are examples of gum diseases (advanced)
- Dental erosion, also known as enamel erosion, is a type of tooth degradation.
- Interruptions in tooth development and other anomalies, such as a cleft lip and palate
- Early orthodontic therapy in youngsters corrects severe bite problems before all of their permanent teeth develop.
- Traumatic injuries to the face, such as vehicle accidents, can cause physical damage to the face.
- Every six months, children should visit a paediatric dentist for a paediatric dental exam and teeth cleaning. These checks aim to lessen the likelihood of disease by keeping the mouth and teeth healthy throughout one’s life.
Early Childhood Caries (ECC)
Cavities are the most prevalent dental problem that children of all ages face.
Cavities in infant teeth reduced in children aged 2 to 11 between 1970 and 1990. Despite this, research has indicated an increase in baby tooth decay in young children during the mid-1990s.
Parents may not be concerned about their child’s oral habits throughout the first three years of life (when baby teeth have fully emerged). However, even though the majority of youngsters outgrow these habits, they can be difficult to break.
Preventive Pediatric Dental Treatments
Sealants and fluoride are two preventive dental treatments for youngsters. Both of these treatments aid in the prevention of cavity formation.
Sealants for teeth
If a child’s baby (primary) teeth have deep pits and grooves, a sealant may be applied to prevent tooth decay. Sealants, on the other hand, are rarely used on permanent teeth because they are insufficiently robust.
Treatment with Fluoride
Children who practise good dental hygiene at home are less likely to develop cavities. Fluoride use, brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day are among these routines. If a child has a cavity, it is critical that restorative therapy, such tooth fillings or crowns, be sought.
There has been a decrease in dental cavities in both children and adults since the introduction of fluoride.
The recommended fluoride level in drinking water is 0.7 parts per million (ppm). Excessive fluoride consumption, on the other hand, might result in tooth fluorosis.
Fluorosis is characterised by the hypomineralization of tooth enamel, which results in improper enamel formation (white or brown spots). The disease is most common in youngsters, especially during the early stages of tooth development.
Water fluoridation is also supported by over 70 years of research and has been shown to be safe, effective, and healthy.https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/index.html
Fluorosis has no health risks because the symptoms are modest and treatable. Pediatric dentists are experts in fluoride treatment for children who have fluorosis or who have a low fluoride intake.
Fluoride comes in two varieties: sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride.
Fluoride Supplements for the Diet
This fluoride therapy is available as a tablet. It is only recommended for children who drink fluoride-free water or who are at high risk of acquiring cavities.
Topical Fluoride Therapy
Topical fluoride therapy is recommended for children aged 3 to 6 years. This type of fluoride is available in several forms.
Common Pediatric Dental Conditions
Oral health and cleanliness are important for both children and adults. However, we can become so absorbed with our problems that we miss potentially harmful patterns that our children have developed. Such practises, if adopted by children, can result in long-term dental problems.
Dental disorders can affect teeth alignment, palate formation, and bite level as children and toddlers grow and develop physically and cognitively. As a result, we should be on the alert for typical paediatric dental issues.
Cavities have been following us since the beginning. Due to an unregulated diet, these can strike the baby’s teeth. If you allow your child to take milk to bed or if he or she always has a bottle or sipper, you should reassess your decision. Milk has a lot of sugar, and too much sugar causes tooth disease.
Cavities are remain a menace to your child after they have grown out of their childhood. Maintaining tight decorum is especially important if your youngster enjoys sweets and has sloppy oral cleaning habits. This is due to the fact that sugary foods and insufficient brushing provide a great breeding habitat for plaque bacteria.
Tooth Sensitivity is a painful sensation caused by contact with extremely hot or cold foods or beverages. Such sensation indicates tooth decay caused by cavities or grinding of the teeth. As a result, it would be beneficial if you did not handle tooth sensitivity casually. If your child complains of sensitivity, it’s advisable to see a skilled paediatric dentist.
Gum diseases are frequently caused by the formation of plaque bacteria. These disorders develop in phases, beginning with moderate gingivitis. Gums expand and bleed even from minor irritations in gingivitis. Mild gingivitis might progress to severe gingivitis if not treated promptly. Gums are increasingly receding, revealing periodontal spaces. As a result, a positive feedback cycle begins when plaque begins to accumulate in gaps, and this accumulation causes more issues. As a result, gum disorders are no laughing matter. Regular and thorough brushing and flossing, on the other hand, help to prevent gum disease by preventing plaque buildup.
Thumb sucking is a toddler’s normal nervous response. Thumb-sucking quickly becomes the child’s favourite habit. Although it is a harmless habit, if the youngster continues to do it in later years, it can lead to major dental disorders. Prolonged thumb sucking stunts the growth of the teeth and the roof of the mouth (palate). This results in malformations such as a malformed palate or faulty jaw and teeth alignment. Furthermore, the irregular teeth position prevents a balanced bite.
Apart from the major paediatric dental concerns mentioned above, a few other issues are:
- Orthodontic Issues: These issues are caused by heredity. However, using retainers or braces at a young age can swiftly correct the issue.
- Teeth Grinding
- White spots and ulceration on the cheek tissue are symptoms of canker sores.
- Dental anxieties and phobias are common among children.
- A dental drill and a sharp scaler can make even an adult nervous, let alone a toddler.
What Procedures Do Pediatric Dentists Perform?
It’s never too early to start your child on the path to a lifetime of good dental health, and we provide a variety of treatments to help you achieve just that. A key focus of our clinic is monitoring your child’s dental growth and development, as well as preventing and arresting oral disorders along the way. More information on Pediatric Dentistry can be found here.
Common treatments and procedure include:
First Dental Visit:
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a kid have his or her first checkup by the age of one. We will inspect the baby teeth for early cavities, show you how to properly care for a young child’s mouth, go over your child’s developmental milestones, and highlight the importance of excellent oral hygiene during this essential visit. More information on the Age One Dental Visit can be found here.
Fillings are used to repair a small hole in your tooth caused by decay. This simple, painless technique keeps decay bacteria from migrating further into your tooth and potentially contaminating the root canal. Metal and tooth-colored fillings are both available. Find out more about Fillings.
Dental sealants are clear plastic resin coatings that smooth out the chewing surfaces of your child’s rear teeth, which are the most prone to decay. A sealed tooth is considerably less likely to develop a cavity, which could necessitate costly dental care and cause pain in your child. Find out more about Dental Sealants.
Taking Care of Specially Abled Children
Proper dental care is just as important for special needs children as it is for any youngster. However, it might be more challenging for children with special needs to receive the best possible care. We may assist by implementing proper procedures and providing extra personal attention in the workplace.
Cosmetic bonding is a technique that uses tooth-colored materials to repair lost tooth structure or conceal minor flaws such as chipping, discolouration, or irregular spacing. It’s an excellent choice for youngsters and teenagers, who frequently need to wait for their teeth to grow before deciding on a more permanent treatment. Find out more about Bonding.
Crowns are covers that are placed over broken teeth to reinforce them and restore their appearance and function. Metal crowns are occasionally indicated as a temporary treatment for damaged baby teeth until the permanent teeth arrive.
Fluoridated water has been described as one of the most significant health triumphs of the twentieth century – but not every youngster receives enough fluoride. That is one reason why your child may benefit from a topical fluoride supplement given in the dental office. Find out more about Fluoride and Your Child.
Many orthodontic disorders are easier to address throughout youth since the body is still developing rapidly. Whether you require traditional braces, clear aligners, or gadgets such as palatal expanders, it is feasible to make significant improvements in a short amount of time. Find out more about Early Orthodontic Treatment.
Space If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, a “space maintainer” may be required to keep the space open until the permanent tooth arrives to fill it. This appliance will aid in the appropriate development of your child’s bite, thus avoiding the need for braces in the future. Find out more about Space Maintainers.
Aside from being uncomfortable, a child’s sports-related oral injury can result in time lost from school and work, as well as significant financial costs. Wearing a well fitted, comfortable mouthguard during practise and games can significantly lower the risk of major dental injury. Learn more about Children’s Mouthguards.
Children and teenagers who might otherwise be apprehensive and scared during dental treatment can benefit greatly from sedation dentistry. It is feasible for your child to have a painless dental experience with local anaesthetics and sedative drugs. Find out more about Sedation Dentistry.
Emergency Dental Care:
Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you have a life-threatening or severe injury. We can treat a wide range of severe dental injuries, including teeth that have been chipped, displaced, or completely knocked out. Please contact our office if you require assistance.
The basic goal of dentistry is to keep your natural teeth as healthy as possible for as long as feasible. However, there are situations when it is in your best interest (or the best interest of your child) to have a tooth taken (removed). Find out more about Extractions.
Where Can I Find A Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists work in a wide range of settings, including private practises, dental schools, and medical hospitals. Your paediatrician can assist you in locating a paediatric dentist in your area.
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When your physician recommends that your child get a dental exam, you can be confident that a paediatric dentist will give the best treatment available.
u003cstrongu003eWhat is a pediatric dentist?u003c/strongu003e
A paediatric dentist provides a variety of treatment options, as well as knowledge and training in caring for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth.
u003cstrongu003eWhat are the qualifications of a pediatric dentist?u003c/strongu003e
Pediatric dentists have at least four years of dental school under their belt. Two years of additional residency training in dentistry for newborns, children, teenagers, and special needs children
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