Introduction to Pediatric Dentistry
Why a Pediatric Dentist?
Has your child ever begged you not to leave the dentist? Impossible you say? Not at our office. It could be our gentle touch and special way with kids. Dr. Jerry and the staff love children and are specially trained to put them at ease. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth; but just as important, they learn that going to the dentist can be fun.
What is a Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)?
In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, a pediatric dentist is uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health, using the most advanced techniques…and all in a child friendly atmosphere. Pediatric dentists have an additional 2-3 years of training at university pediatric facilities in addition to 4 years of dental school and 4 years of college study.
They learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable, and to make going to the dentist a pleasant experience. Also, they are trained and qualified to treat special patients that have medical concerns, syndromes, or situations that create a unique need for treatment needs and instructions.
What dental problems could my child have?
Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is Early Childhood Caries (ECC), or a form of it called baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle decay is a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle (or breast) too long. Another problem is gum disease. About 40% of children 2-3 years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues. Oral habits (such as thumb-sucking) should also be checked. 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.
Why are baby teeth so important?
Primary 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 jaw bones 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 10-14, so they must last for years.