A pediatric dentistry office specializes in caring for children’s oral health. These dentists also educate parents on how to teach their children oral hygiene at home. The dentist offers suggestions for regular brushing, supervision and additional preventive treatments. Oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing and mouthwash use depending on the child’s age and abilities.
The reality is that adults and children have different dental needs. Children range from getting their first baby teeth to losing their baby teeth and growing permanent teeth. Children under 2, between 2 and 6 and those older than 6 have different oral health needs.
Different Stages Require Different Steps
The age and abilities of the child need consideration when discussing the options available. Pediatric dentistry treatments and maintenance help keep kids healthy and avoid bad breath, prevent cavities and develop good teeth-care habits.
Children under 2
Parents should wipe the gums of their babies twice a day. This helps them get used to something being in their mouth. It is also essential to removing sugar and bacteria that can cause cavities even before teeth erupt. Once the first teeth start appearing, parents should use a small toothbrush with soft bristles with water. Ideally, children should see a pediatric dentist before their first birthday.
Children between 2 and 6
As children grow, they can begin to start brushing their own teeth. Training toothbrushes and toothpaste are a good starting point. Watch your child brush to ensure they learn good techniques. It may even be a good idea for you to brush the child’s teeth once a day and have your child practice the other time they brush.
The dentist may suggest using a pediatric dentistry treatment such as sealants to help protect the teeth from cavities. During this time, dentists typically begin to suggest the elimination of pacifiers, bottles and thumb sucking.
Children over 6
Permanent teeth begin to arrive at the age of 6 or 7. Regular dental checkups twice a year, with dental X-rays annually, help the dentist spot cavities and oral health problems. Permanent teeth do not always come in straight and sometimes not at all. X-rays can detect where permanent teeth are in addition to identifying other issues.
Healthychildren.org reports that childhood dental caries are more common than other childhood diseases. This infectious disease can cause a lifetime of pain and complications for the child. A pediatric dentist has the knowledge to look for the signs of the disease and offer a treatment plan. There are other preventive treatments a dentist may suggest for the child.
- Tooth repair
- Orthodontic referral to correct an improper bite or crooked teeth
- Dental injury care
- Fluoride treatments
- Diet and nutrition recommendations
- Management of gum conditions and diseases
Pediatric dentistry can prevent a lifetime of issues
Pediatric dentistry preventative maintenance and treatments can help your child develop healthy oral hygiene habits. Call our office to learn more about pediatric dentistry and to schedule an appointment.
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