All of us have heard of pediatricians, the doctors for kids but have you heard of pediatric dentists? Well now you would know. A pediatric dentist is a dentist, you guessed it right …a dentist for kids from infancy to their teen years.
They are the experts when it comes to oral health care of children be it teeth, gums or mouth throughout the different stages of childhood. A child gets his first tooth by the age of 6 months and loses his milk teeth by the age of 6 or 7 years to be replaced with permanent teeth.
Children have the same dental problems as adults do so proper care of teeth during childhood is very important. Did you know as per CDC 13.2% of children between the ages of 5 to 19 have untreated caries. Caries or cavities as they are popularly called, is one of the most common and widespread of dental issues around the world. This is a sad fact more so because it is preventable.
A pediatric dentist gets specialized training for additional years for treating children be it infants, small kids, teens or even kids with special needs.
What do pediatric dentists do?
- They conduct oral exams on their patients and assess the risk of caries in mother and infants.
- They provide preventive treatment like fluorides and sealants.
- They recommend good healthy eating and dental hygiene habits to children and also educate parents about it.
- They counsel kids and parents on habits like thumb sucking and use of pacifiers.
- They treat dental issues like cavities and tooth decay.
- They do early assessments of whether a child will need teeth alignment and also if their bite needs correction.
- They manage gum diseases and also assess for linkages between oral conditions in children with disease like diabetes, hay fever, asthma and congenital heart disease at a later stage.
- They give parents reports at regular intervals on how their child’s teeth and jaw are developing.
- They also evaluate the health of salivary glands and
- Conduct X-rays of teeth and jaw to evaluate dental decay.
There is a lot of debate on whether you should take your child to a person who has specialized in pediatric dentistry or whether a family dentist is good enough. Both arguments have their merits.
A family dentist is much more aware of common dental problems that run in the family as compared to a pediatric dentist. However a pediatric dentist has more specialized knowledge and experience of child related dental issues. You may choose one over the other as per your preference or the needs of your child whichever is more suitable. If you need more guidance on this subject please feel free to call us on 940-274-6181 for an appointment with your child at Ensure Dental Care today. We accept all major insurance plans. Follow us on instagram @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx for more.