As a parent, you want what is best for your children. You try to feed them healthy foods, get them to play outside for exercise, and make sure they are clothed and bathed. You probably have a pediatrician, to make sure they stay healthy or to visit when they are feeling ill, but do you have a pediatric dentist? Just like a pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of children, a pediatric dentist does the same. Since many children are intimidated by the dentist, a pediatric dentist knows the steps to take to put your children at ease.
Aren’t all dentists the same? While they are all trained to care for our oral health, there are significant differences between a dentist for adults and a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is a specialist trained in the specific needs of children’s dentistry. After completing dental school, a pediatric dentist attends an additional two to three years to learn the intricacies of oral health care for infants, toddler, tweens and teens. A pediatric dentist can determine if children are afflicted with any abnormalities in growth and development and can keep parents informed about how to best care for your children’s teeth.
How can your children benefit from seeing a dental specialist for kids? Most pediatric dental offices are fun and inviting for children, offering toys and entertaining decorating themes, as well as kids’ movies and video games. If the children look forward to visiting the dental office, the less apprehension they will feel seeing the dentist. Pediatric dentists are skilled in behavior guidance and have many different ways to help your children feel comfortable at the dental office. Picking up on a child’s temperament and anxieties is just one of the behavioral tools pediatric dentists use to gain a child’s trust. Others use a reward system, using prizes at the end of a successful appointment to help build rapport. Pediatric dentists are communication specialists and speak to children in a friendly and gentle manner. Their offices are also equipped with child-sized equipment and supplies to make any exam or treatment as comfortable as possible for your child. When children understand what to expect, they behave better, and feel more at ease. If the dentist can win the trust of the child, any apprehension the child may feel can be addressed and put to rest.
In addition to how the pediatric dentist Oklahoma City treats you and your children is his or her expertise. Pediatric dentists should have the most up to date technology available to care for your children’s teeth. These dentists are skilled in dealing with the issues that plague young patients—baby bottle tooth decay, the effect of thumb sucking on teeth and bad bite problems. Pediatric dentists are small teeth specialists—they can help your childrentransition from baby teeth to permanent teeth by preparing them for the natural changes that will occur.
If your child has special needs or a particular medical issue, a pediatric dentist has extensive experience handling these situations. Oftentimes, children who possess special needs may have issues that make working on their teeth challenging, and it is important that your child’s dentist has the patience and skill to address these issues, all while keeping the child relaxed.
There are various treatments and services a pediatric dentist can provide. In addition to dental examinations, they offer preventative care, like cleanings and fluoride treatments to protect teeth from cavities, as well as recommendations on diet and nutrition. A pediatric dentist can also repair dental injuries, treat gum disease and assess the risk for tooth decay and future orthodontia. A thorough examination can also provide clues to the dentist about other health issues that may be plaguing your child, like allergies, diabetes, asthma and even congenital heart defects.
Finding a pediatric dentist for your children may take some time. Start by asking friends and family dentistry okc for recommendations they trust or you can even ask your own dentist or your children’s pediatrician for an endorsement. If your child has special needs or is unable to sit still for periods of time, a pediatric dentist will have the patience and expertise to make the child feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Taking a visit to the pediatric dentist’s office to ensure it is child-friendly is a good place to start, as well. Speak with the dentist and introduce your children to make sure your kids feel comfortable in their surroundings. Ask the dentist about his or her philosophy about dental care and make sure it matches your own. You want to find someone who has the dental expertise but also the compassion and patience to deal with fussy children. Remember, too, your children will react to the dentist the way you do; if you are fearful of seeing a dentist, your children will pick up on that feeling and may be scared as a result. No one is born being afraid of the dentist, so if you approach your children’s dentist as a friendly, helpful person, your children will feel that way, too.
The American Dental Association recommends that your child see the dentist by aged one. To prevent those nasty cavities, a pediatric dentist will advise you not to send your baby to bed with a bottle of milk as it promotes tooth decay. Another way a pediatric dentist will help to protect your child’s teeth is to apply dental sealants, a plastic coating applied to the surfaces of teeth. This coating seals the teeth and protects them from tooth decay and provide protection for years. Topical fluoride is another tool used by dentists to protect little teeth. Fluoride is applied directly to the teeth, making it more resistant to decay.
Finding the right pediatric dentist for your children is an important venture, one that sets the precedence for your children’s oral health care for years to come. If your children feel at ease visiting the dentist, they are more likely to feel comfortable as an adult in the dentist’s chair. A lifetime of oral health care all starts in the earliest years.