Pediatric Dentistry – A Short Introduction
For a child’s development and health, firm baby teeth are very essential. Such teeth begin to appear when a child is around 6 months and may remain till the age of 12 or 13. Baby teeth (like the umbilical cord) comprise stem cells that have the ability to grow replacement tissues in the body. The presence of good baby teeth allows adult teeth to grow properly. Even if the baby teeth eventually fall off being replaced by permanent adult teeth, it is important to take the best possible care of baby teeth. Branch of dentistry related to the oral care of children and infants is Pediatric Dentistry.
What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric Dentistry can be defined as the branch of dentistry that deals with the oral care of children from birth through adolescence. Dental health of kids, as well as educational resources for parents, is promoted by pediatric dentists. Dentistry for kids is important as early detection of any kind of abnormality may prevent its growth and may be treated. This maintains the oral health of the child. Regular dental examinations are a part of preventive health care for children and help to protect their oral hygiene.
Services Catered By Pediatric Dentistry
As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a dental checkup should be attended within six months after an infant’s first birthday or after the first baby tooth is seen. This establishes an accessible and comprehensive relationship between the patient and the dentist, referred to as the patient’s “Dental Home.”
Early oral examination helps the dentist in detecting any kind of tooth anomaly and provides the treatment required. In addition to this, parents are introduced to a new program of home care that prevents any tooth abnormalities such as dental plaque or tooth discoloration (when adults). They are provided with information on the child’s pacifier, fingers and thumb habits and are advised on how to prevent mouth and teeth injuries. Pediatric Dentists also provide information on the development and growth of the child along with proper diet counseling.
Steps Involved In The Process
During an oral examination, the hygienist evaluates the risk of future tooth decay by cleaning the child’s teeth. If the chances of decay are high, the dentist may apply fluoride or a sealant to reduce the risk. The dental examination may also include a Dental X-Ray. Some problems that are not visible during the oral exam may be visualized in the dental X-Ray. All types of equipment designed for the purpose are children friendly.
X-Rays are not always required, and the hygienist may discuss it with the parents considering the age and risk of health. Though the radiation exposure through the digital X-rays is low, the parent may still discuss with the dentist.
The dentist discusses the hygiene and oral habits, explaining proper flossing and brushing techniques. Health risks associated with tobacco, oral piercings and how to prevent oral injuries may be other topics a hygienist may discuss for adolescence.
Advantages Of Pediatric Dentistry
- One main advantage of seeing a pediatric dentist is the gaining of mannerism and the development of good oral habits. Adults, poor at taking care of their teeth is somehow a habit that has been rooted in childhood. If children develop a habit of ignoring their teeth problems, then this habit will undoubtedly affect them in the older ages. More exposure to the dentist is the best way of preventing dental plaque or any such conditions in the future.
- Early oral examinations, may evaluate risks of future anomalies which can be treated easily at a very tender age. As the age advances, the treatment becomes more expensive, time-consuming and maybe even worse.
- Parents are given programs on how to keep their child’s mouth and teeth healthy which otherwise would not have been done causing future concerns.
Important Article: COSMETIC DENTISTRY OVERVIEW PROCEDURES AND ADVANTAGES
Risks Of Pediatric Dentistry
Among the advantages of pediatric dentistry, there is a risk associated. Children who need teeth pulled out or cavities filled are given sedatives, which makes them more cooperative. However, in rare cases, it was found that a child may even die if falls into a deeper level than required and not rescued immediately. Hence, it is important for the team of dentists to keep a record of the sedatives provided and their amount.
Dr. Tyson, the best dentist in Huntsville, suggests that baby teeth are very important as their good health determines the well-being of a person. Hence, proper care and attention are always required.