Dentistry has several branches. Pediatric dentistry branch focuses on the oral hygiene of children from the time they are infants to adolescent stage. Pediatric dentists are trained and have expert experience in handling and taking care of children’s gums, teeth, and mouth throughout the kid’s childhood stages. A child first starts getting teeth at the age of 6 months. Between the ages of 6 and 7, the child is expected to lose their first set of teeth. As they continue to age, they grow secondary permanent teeth that will replace the lost ones. Children are always prone to be attacked by oral decay and diseases if they are not given the best dental care and the complications may last for an entire lifetime. Some of the oral conditions have also become very common among children hence the need for regular check-ups and treatment.
Pediatric Dentist Training
To be considered as a qualified and expert pediatric dentist, you are required to have undergone four years of training in dental school, take part in a two-year resident training specifically on children, teens, and infants dentistry including those with special needs.
Treatment Services Offered by Pediatric Dentists
- The pediatric doctors provide the best and detailed treatment and care to children. The services include.
- They diagnose any oral conditions that may have resulted due to their association with diseases such as asthma, diabetes, Hyperactivity disorder, and hay fever, among others.
- They take care of children’s dental injuries due to a knocked-out tooth, fractured, and displaced tooth.
- They conduct infant oral health examinations to assess the levels of risks of the child concerning the mother.
- They offer children habit counselling especially for kids with habits such as sucking their thumbs and unstopped pacifier use.
- They ensure that a child’s tooth cavity and defects are repaired.
- They undertake preventive treatment measures such as fluoride cleaning, diet recommendations, and nutrition suggestions.
- They detect any straightened teeth and improper biting by doing an early assessment and arranging for treatment early.
- They assist in managing gum diseases and any conditions related to mucoceles, ulcers, pediatric periodontal disease, and short frenulum.
Some children normally experience a delay in the development of teeth. Pediatric dentists are usually contacted in such situations since an infant must start teething and jaw development as they get introduced to solid foods. The teeth development is also essential in ensuring that the child develops appropriate speech hence the need for a pediatric dentist early enough before these effects are more pronounced and worse.
Teeth misalignment refers to a child’s upper jaw teeth and lower jaw teeth not meeting or coming close together when the jaws are brought towards each other. This usually causes various issues whenever they try speaking of eating. The child is likely to experience pain whenever they are biting and may result in injuries of the tongue, mouth, and gums. A pediatrician usually ensures the child is given braces to ensure that the teeth grow in a straighter orientation to avoid accidents which can be very painful.
Milk teeth in children are usually lost and replaced with permanent teeth. This however does not mean that a child’s milk teeth should not be cared for and maintained. When a child gets exposed to bacteria causing dental caries and decay, they can easily develop complications. They are always more prone to attacks on eating foods with high sugar levels, sticky foods, and failure to observe dental and oral hygiene. Pediatric dentists ensure that a child is regularly checked and put under maintenance and good oral hygiene observance from a young age. They ensure that a child is used to brushing daily and dental flossing to help maintain healthy teeth set throughout their childhood.
Techniques Employed by Pediatric Dentists.
Handling a child when they are in pain as a result of a teeth issue can be very challenging since the kids are irritable and present a different type of behavior altogether. A pediatric dentist should be very patient and master the various tricks to use when handling a child in pain and help to get rid of the pain as well. Before a pediatric dentist meets their patient, it is recommended that they get to know their patient so that they will be able to apply some behavior management techniques.
Before the actual appointment date, a pediatric dentist holds a meeting with the child’s parents in a quest to try and know the child’s behavior, their dental health, and what the child fears. During this meeting, the parents are given a detailed explanation of all the involved stages and phases in the dental procedure. They are also advised to go and prepare the child psychologically and help them get comfortable as a way of making them prepared for the session. When the relationship between a child’s dentist and the parents is strong, a positive attitude always emerges making communication and cooperation easier during dental procedures.
Communicating with a child is also very essential. It helps to make the child have a positive mind towards the dental services and the dentist. This further helps the dentist by making him aware of the strings to pull since they will have developed a better understanding of the child. Other non-verbal cues can be used during the procedures such as facial expressions.
Everyone’s overall oral health is a critical component. Just in a similar way, children’s dental health should be well taken care of and maintained. A child is likely to face difficulties in eating and drinking without proper care and neglect of their oral hygiene. Oral hygiene care in children should start at the early infant stages to the time they are teenagers. Early clinic visits and check-ups by pediatric dentists contribute to the development of strong healthy teeth in children as well as good oral health. A parent is therefore required to ensure that they take the kids for regular check-ups and develop a relationship with the dentists to ensure the child is comfortable and can easily communicate with the dentist in charge. By engaging a dentist in your child’s early stages prevents them from developing future complications and diseases that can be worse.