Why a Pediatric Dentist?
1. Like a pediatrician is your primary provider of childhood medical care, pediatric dentists are the primary (and specialty) oral health providers for your infant and child. They understand and are experienced in dealing with the unique dental issues and concerns that go along with each stage of childhood.
2.Children deserve a pediatric dentist for dental care for the same reason they see a pediatrician for medical care. A pediatric dentist is a doctor of dentistry who has two to three years of special training following dental school, and limits his or her practice exclusively to the treatment of children, including those with special medical needs.
3.Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing an office as your child’s dental home provides the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that help keep your child free from dental/oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, as well as dental growth and development. As a pediatric only dental office, we are current on the latest advances in dentistry for children.
4.Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health. Continual preventive care includes regular check-ups and cleanings with oral hygiene instruction. The timing of these depends on your child’s specific needs, most commonly recommended every six months.
5.Primary (baby) teeth are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jawbones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren’t treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age ten to fourteen, so they must last for years.
6.Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood caries, a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle, breastfeeding or sippee cup too long. Cavities between the teeth are very common. They are not visible without dental x-rays in their early stages of decay. By the time a child has pain associated with these types of cavities, the teeth require more extensive treatment or removal. Another problem is gum disease. About 40% of children two to three years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues. Oral habits (such as thumb-sucking) should also be checked. Many oral diseases, such as canker sores, can be treated before they become advanced and cause unnecessary pain for your child. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances of preventing problems. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, speak clearly and feel good about his or her appearance.
7.Interceptive orthodontics refer to catching any orthodontic issues as soon as they occur. We look for:
- Baby teeth not falling out when they are expected to
- Baby teeth that are lost too early because of decay
- Top and bottom teeth not meeting properly
- Problems with biting or chewing
- Crooked teeth caused by crowding
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb and finger sucking
- Biting the cheek, or the roof of the mouth
- Jaws and teeth out of proportion to the rest of the face
8.There are many good reasons for early orthodontic treatment:
- When the jaws and teeth are still growing it is much easier to move teeth and influence the position and size of the jaw
- Early treatment will shorten the treatment time
- Treatment of thumb-sucking and abnormal swallowing patterns is more successful in a young child
- Protruding front teeth are easily damaged, so the sooner they are corrected the better
9.Consult an orthodontist immediately after you or your dentist become aware of a problem.
- Jaw growth and development problems can be identified by the age of seven
- If it is necessary to widen or lengthen the upper or lower jaw, this can begin by the age of 10 for girls, and 12 for boys
- Starting early can make the treatment easier and shorter
10.Some of the issues we look for:
- Crowding and irregular teeth
- Protruding upper teeth
- Protruding lower jaw and teeth
- Lower jaw protrusion
- Deep overbite
- Spaces between the teeth
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Teeth erupting out of position (ectopic eruption)