As a parent, you probably understand that pediatric dentistry is an important aspect of your child's overall health. However, you first need to deal with the teething process as the baby teeth emerge from the gums. It varies among babies, but teething typically begins around six months of age. Common symptoms include sore and irritated…
4 Tips for Choosing a Pediatric Dentistry
Children can benefit from an oral health care routine as early as infancy. Pediatric dentistry focuses on monitoring young children's mouths, bone structure, erupting teeth, and gums for proper development and addressing oral health issues unique to children.
Why is pediatric dentistry necessary?
Pediatric dentistry involves maintaining children's oral health from birth through adolescence, a period involving significant growth and development of the jaw and oral structures. Dentists who train in this area understand the unique challenges of working with young mouths and advocate for learning habits and techniques as early as possible to achieve lifelong good oral hygiene.
How can parents choose a pediatric dentist?
Most parents recognize the need to choose a medical doctor who works exclusively with children. However, young patients also have unique oral needs before adulthood, requiring specific attention. Parents can follow these four tips for choosing a pediatric dental care provider who can address these needs.
1. Look for specialization
Pediatric dentists obtain additional training that makes them uniquely capable of monitoring the various developmental stages of children's mouths. For example, these dentists understand that routine bottle use can make infants' mouths breeding grounds for bacteria that cause gum disease even before a first tooth erupts. This condition can potentially cause the decay of a child's first erupting teeth, ultimately impacting the permanent teeth. Pediatric dentists also monitor jaw development affecting a child's eating and speaking ability.
2. Look for a willing partner
Parents should schedule a consultation with several pediatric dentists before choosing a provider who can helpfully answer questions and partner with them to achieve favorable results. A children's dentist who advocates for a preventative approach will take the time to offer guidance about home care and how to educate children about good oral hygiene.
3. Look for a provider who accepts your insurance
A dental insurance provider is an excellent resource for help in finding a nearby pediatric dentist. Choosing a dentist in an insurance plan's network provides access to vital childhood dental services that improve oral health while lowering the costs for preventative and curative care, including cleanings, fluoride varnishes, extractions, fillings, and root removal treatment following traumatic tooth loss.
4. Look for a soothing environment
It is helpful to choose a pediatric dentistry practice that considers children's aversions to strange sensations and loud noises that can be frightening. In addition to having technical skills, a pediatric dentist and office staff should know how to communicate and discuss treatments using clear and succinct language that children can easily understand.
The dental office should also provide a child-friendly, soothing environment that includes a waiting room with toys, games, happy colors, and joyful music. Parents should consider scheduling a short pre-appointment visit for toddlers and anxious children to meet new providers and office staff. This step can be particularly soothing for children with special needs and concerns.
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Parents who choose a pediatric dentistry practice to provide childhood oral health care have children who learn to value good oral hygiene through adulthood.
The main concern of pediatric dentistry is the health of your child’s teeth and gums. A child’s oral health is so important that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule a child’s first dental visit no later than the first birthday. During an appointment, the dentist can provide insight on how to…
In pediatric dentistry, dental professionals understand that parents play a big role in their children's oral health. You are a guide and model along the way, helping your children build healthy habits and routines. However, cavities in children are common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of children between…