About Pediatric Dentistry

 

What Does A Pediatric Dentist Do?

A pediatric dentist specializes in working with children. Pediatric dentists treat the oral health of children from infancy throughout the late teen years. Dentists in this field have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s primary or baby teeth followed by their secondary teeth or adult teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

 

What Is The Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a General Dentist?

Many general or family dentists see kids and adults alike, but that does not make them pediatric dentists. The main difference between the two is pediatric dental care is purely specialized in oral health for children. Pediatric dentists are required to take an additional two to three years of specific training after finishing dental school. They also have specialized education in child psychology, which allows them to better communicate and understand children in their dental practice.

 

What Does Board Certification Mean?

A Board Certified Pediatric Dentist is a pediatric dentist who has completed all of the accredited training and exams, and has been certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). Being certified by the APBD ensures that the children’s dentist has had the highest quality of oral health education for kids of all ages, including quality care for special needs children. Parents should rest assured that their children will receive the highest standards of care when choosing a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist.

 

Infant and Early Child Pediatric Care

 

At What Age Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

It is recommended that children as young as 6 months old, or as soon as the first tooth erupts, make their first appointment to see a pediatric dentist.

As new parents, we often overlook infant oral care. Some of us wonder why we should worry about the baby teeth, since new permanent teeth will replace them later in childhood. Most dental problems are preventable and the dentist imparts valuable preventive information, including teething relief, diet, brushing, and the role of bacteria in cavity formation.

Early dental visits positively correlate to favorable future dental experiences, with fewer cavities and more non traumatic, happy visits.

Tooth decay can happen as soon as a child’s first tooth grows in, on average between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Having cavities in baby teeth increases the risk of decay in permanent teeth. If that decay is severe, it can have long lasting effects on a child’s overall health and can be costly to fix. In addition, pain from tooth decay can prevent a baby from eating properly, which will most definitely have a negative effect on their growth and development.

 

Do Pediatric Dentists Cost More?

The cost of dental care varies and any slightly higher costs for pediatric dentistry reflects the specialized care provided. Their facilities and equipment are designed solely for children and the experience and training of the pediatric dental team maximizes your child’s comfort. Procedures, such as fillings, are accomplished quickly and efficiently, resulting in more favorable dental experiences.

 

What Happens at a Child’s First Dentist Appointment?

During your child’s first visit, the dentist reviews your child’s medical and dental history, answers your questions and addresses your concerns. Children too young to sit in the regular dental chair sit on their parent’s lap and are not expected to “cooperate.” Crying during the exam is helpful, as it allows better visualization into the mouth.

During the exam the dentist is evaluating growth and development, the position of the teeth, the health of the gums and oral tissues and checking for any dental decay. If your child is old enough to tolerate it, a gentle polishing of the teeth, to remove plaque and/or stains, as well as a fluoride treatment, may be recommended.

 

Is A Pediatric Dentist Necessary?

Pediatric dentists are to dentistry what pediatricians are to medicine and you can expect that same level of expertise when receiving care. Pediatric dentists are able to recognize and intercept potential dental and orthodontic problems and intervene when situations are manageable, thereby being proactive, rather than reactive.

Partnering with parents, pediatric dentists help children build healthy oral hygiene and dietary habits, to maintain the child’s overall health. By creating a positive and supportive atmosphere in the office, the dental team helps a child be more motivated and confident in continuing their oral care at home.

 

Dentistry and Your Adolescent

 

How to Prevent Dental Decay in Adolescents?

It is assumed that your teen has already learned the building blocks of oral health care throughout their childhood. But as we all know, sometimes adolescents can be stubborn and need a gentle reminder of best practices. Here is a quick list, reinforced at each 6 month visit to the office, to help your youngster maximize their oral care routine.

  • • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • • Floss once a day, before bed.
  • • Swish with fluoride rinse after flossing and before bed.
  • • Limit snacking throughout the day.
  • • Avoid sugary drinks, including sports drinks, and sticky/adhesive treats..
  • • Drink more water.

Adhering to this list will keep your child on the right path to oral and general good health.

 

Are Tongue and Lip Piercings really that cool?

From the perspective of your child’s dentist, or any dentist for that matter, tongue and lip piercings are definitely not cool. When it comes to any type of oral piercings, the risks outweigh the coolness factor.

After a piercing, there is increased pain and a lot of swelling. There is also difficulty swallowing and even speaking. Hard-to-control bleeding, permanent numbness and inability to taste are among other complications. One of the most unfortunate results of facial piercings is the risk of scarring and deformed facial features.

The tongue is a muscle full of blood vessels and nerves and is not meant to be perforated. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and having open pockets of exposed flesh greatly increases the possibility of infection.

A common injury seen by dentists is damage done to the back of the teeth and gums due to the rubbing and hitting of the metal bar. That piercing bar often chips and cracks the teeth. Beyond that, the excessive rubbing creates inflammation in the gum tissues and causes bone loss to the root of the tooth, which can lead to one or several teeth needing extraction. In some rare cases it has caused life threatening problems.

Piercings are certainly a way to express individuality, but dental professionals agree that piercings in and around the mouth lead to many problems and dental emergencies, and should be avoided.

 

Why you Should Never use Tobacco

Any type of tobacco, smokeless or not, will jeopardize the health of a child and cause irreversible damage. Not only does it stain teeth and cause bad breath, but it also lowers the strength of your immune system by reducing your white blood cell count. The white blood cells protect teeth from infection, fight off bacteria and remove plaque.

Smokers are three times more likely to have periodontal disease, and twice as likely to lose teeth as a consequence.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. In its early stages, you may know it as gingivitis. Advanced periodontal disease is an infection that evolves into a disease-causing bacteria. It causes severe red and swollen gums and is paired with painful chewing, the loosening of teeth, severe bad breath, and bone loss.

We all know the risk smoking has on our lungs, but it also can cause oral cancer. Oral cancer is exceptionally dangerous because, by the time it reveals itself, it’s usually fairly advanced and requires substantial treatment to control it. The best option for anyone’s health is to completely avoid all tobacco… all the time. If you suspect there might be a smoking related issue in a child, please contact Young Dentistry for Children, your emergency dentistry in Westminster, Colorado.

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