Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentistry was created to fill a void in traditional dental care. Your child's teeth and dental issues are different from yours, and therefore need special care. For instance, when was the last time your family dentist addressed your thumb- or pacifier- sucking habit, or explained that going to bed with a bottle can negatively affect your oral health? As a parent, you have to deal with teething and teaching another person how to properly care for his or her teeth, and pediatric dentists are equipped to deal with these issues. Both you and your child will appreciate the specialized care that a specialist can provide.
So, what sets a pediatric dentist apart from your traditional dentist? Pediatric dentists undergo additional training to learn about children's growth, development and psychology. They also take behavior management classes, where they learn to deal with nervous or hard-to-handle young patients. Here are just some of the things pediatric dentists can do to make this time easier (and healthier) for both you and your child:
- Preventive care. Small mouths have special needs, such as child-size toothbrushes and fluoride-free tooth paste. A pediatric dental specialist will not only show your child how to properly care for his or her teeth, but, even more importantly, teach you how to supervise and guide his or her preventive dental care.
- Monitoring growth.As children begin to grow primary teeth, pediatric dentists keep an eye on the bite and jaw alignment to predict, prevent and treat orthodontic problems.
- Teething. Only a parent can truly understand the struggles that accompany a teething child. They're in pain and grumpy while you're virtually helpless (and so probably just as grumpy!). A pediatric dentist can show you how to alleviate your child's discomfort properly clean the teeth once they erupt.
- Baby bottle tooth decay. If you send your child off to bed with a bottle, you aren't alone. It will often put an end to that incessant crying you've been struggling with most of the night. Unfortunately this habit can have terrible consequences. Sucking the bottle tip can misalign teeth. What's more, if the bottle contains any fluid other than water (particularly sugary fluids like juice), it can promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth and lead to tooth decay. A pediatric dentistry expert can minimize the effects of baby bottle tooth decay.
- Thumb- and pacifier-sucking. Sucking thumbs, pacifiers and baby bottle tips can cause teeth to either shift out of line or grow improperly. A pediatric dentist will advise you on how to overcome these bad habits, which are often difficult to break.
You can also expect a different sort of "bedside manner" from a pediatric dental specialist, who has been trained on soothing the worried minds of dental phobic children.
» Return to Children's Dentistry Articles Library