As there are children’s doctors and hospitals, there are also dentists who specialize in children’s oral health – pediatric dentists. In order to become a pediatric dentist someone would have to complete four years of dentistry school as well as an additional two or three more years of schooling. It is a specialty in the field, so a regular dentist can also be a pediatric dentist.
Through the additional schooling, the dentist learns all the ways in which kids’ teeth are different from adults. They also learn techniques to help kids feel comfortable when visiting the dentist. They are also taught how to deal with children who may have mental or physical problems.
It is important that babies see a dentist as they begin developing their first teeth. This is usually around six months or so. Even if there are no baby teeth present, the pediatric dentist can evaluate the baby for caries (an infectious disease) as well as evaluating the mother who may have passed this to her baby.
During their study pediatric dentists learn about the development and growth of children’s teeth. And since many children are accident prone, these dentists are trained to deal with trauma to the teeth. They learn how to make young children feel safe and secure when visiting the dentist. A pediatric dentist’s office is usually set up with a kids area geared towards children, with colorful rooms and lots of toys. The fluoride and toothpaste tend to be flavored to make them more palatable to children.
Your pediatric dentist will help instruct your child about proper preventative care such as flossing and correct brushing techniques. They will clean his or her teeth, and even provide advice on diet. They can surely help with habits that will affect teeth such as the use of pacifiers and thumb sucking. They can evaluate whether or not the child will need to have his or her teeth straightened by orthodontics.
You should take your child to a pediatric dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and check up. Most kids stay with their pediatric dentist into their teens. Healthy teeth and a winning smile are very important later in life, and it really is necessary to begin to take good care of those teeth in infancy. Give your child the head start they need when it comes to good oral health.