Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
What is a Dentist Looking for in a Children’s Oral Health Exam?
Pediatric dentistry is focused on the oral health of children from infancy through their teenage years. Regular dental care is important for maintaining your child's oral health.
What is a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists complete two years of residency beyond dental school that includes training to care for the oral health needs of infants, teens, children, and children with special needs. Pediatric dentistry includes comprehensive oral care:
- Infant oral health exams.
- Habit counseling.
- Preventive care.
- Bite assessment and treatment.
- Diagnosis of oral conditions.
- Cavity repair.
Pediatric dentists also provide care for dental injuries and manage diseases, such as gum disease and ulcers.
What does a dentist look for during a child's oral health exam?
You should begin taking your children to see the dentist within six months of their first teeth coming in. At your first pediatric dentistry visit, the dentist will provide you with information about bottle-related tooth decay, mouth cleaning, infant feeding, teething, finger-sucking habits, and pacifier habits.
Preparing your child for the dentist
Schedule appointments in the morning when possible. Your child is likely to be more alert and less tired at this time. Explain to your child why going to the dentist is important and try to make it seem exciting.
If you have dental anxieties, take care not to make your child aware of them. Make sure your dentist has your child's complete health history. If your child tends to be defiant, stubborn, or anxious, let your dentist know this before the visit.
Your child's first visit
The primary purpose of your child's first dental visit is to get your child used to visiting the dentist. Expect this exam to last 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on how old your child is, the dentist may perform a full exam of the teeth, bite, jaws, gums, and oral tissues to check for any abnormalities in growth and development.
If it is needed, the dentist may gently clean your child's teeth and polish them to remove tartar, plaque, and stains. The dentist may also provide instructions for cleaning your child's teeth at home. X-rays are not usually done but may be necessary to check for decay or a baby tooth that is affecting an adult tooth.
Your child's second visit
Your child should return to the dentist every six months. Your dentist may schedule appointments more frequently to help your child become more comfortable with pediatric dentistry or if there is a development problem that needs to be monitored.
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Pediatric dentistry is an important part of your child's oral health. Regular dental visits can help identify problems early, get your child comfortable with the dentist and prevent future problems, such as cavities or poor oral hygiene habits. Schedule your child's first visit within six months of the emergence of the first tooth and return for regular visits every three to six months. The dental habits you establish with your child now may carry into adulthood.
Aiming to get preventive pediatric dentistry treatments can improve your child’s oral health. Natural teeth develop as the child does. Both baby and adult teeth help properly develop speech. These teeth also aid in the proper absorption of nutrients. That is why caring for them is necessary. Here are the details if you want to…
Looking for a pediatric dentist? Read on to learn more about the importance of taking your child to one regularly. Oral health is critical to overall wellness. Therefore, establishing good dental hygiene habits early in life is paramount. This dental health journey requires routine visits to the pediatric dentist. Besides treating dental issues, these dentists…