Dental care is paramount even among children, and it’s the role of the parents to ensure that dental care is observed right from a young age. That’s because poor dental health affects children’s self-esteem, especially once they get older. As a result, it’s important to plan routine visits to a pediatric dentist.
This article will explain pediatric dentistry and the signs that it’s time to see a kids’ dentist.
What’s Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on children’s dental care. Pediatric dentists and general dentists focus much of their time caring for kids with dental diseases. While both types of dentists can perform basic care, pediatric dentistry is unique in the way it treats pediatric dental patients. Below we outline when to visit a pediatric dentist for your child.
When to Visit a Pediatric Dentist
It’s generally recommended that you visit a pediatric dentist for the first time before your child has their first tooth or by the age of two. Other than that, here are other instances when you should visit a pediatric dentist;
Cavities-A tooth cavity, otherwise known as caries, is a painful and costly problem. According to the World Health Organization, they are the most common disease affecting children today. The good news is that by brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, you can drastically reduce the chances of developing caries.
Chipped Teeth– Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth can happen to anyone. However, young children who are actively learning how to eat and drink alongside their growing, erupting teeth may be more prone to chipped teeth than older children and adults.
The pain a child experiences from a chipped tooth, or other damaged teeth, can be overwhelming. It’s important to repair the chipped tooth quickly, usually with a filling or crown, since the longer you wait to treat damaged teeth, the greater the risk of infection and permanent damage to the tooth. Also, depending on where and how severely the tooth is chipped, it may need to be restored with a crown.
Gingivitis– Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. The many causes of gum disease include poor dental hygiene, high sugar diets, tobacco use, and genetics, says MayoClinic. Rotting teeth and infections of various sorts are also oral health problems that can cause tooth loss and damage to other body parts. All these factors and more are preventable, says the NHS. By using effective dental hygiene methods such as fluoride treatments, sealants, and regular checkups in the office, you’ll keep cavities at bay. Furthermore, up-to-date sealants can prevent further decay from getting into hard-to-reach spots on your kid’s teeth.
Stained Teeth– Stained teeth are common with kids. That’s because kids love certain foods, especially candy and soda, which can cause stains on their teeth. Unfortunately, with so many quick fixes out there, it’s hard to know what really works. Don’t let ugly stains on your child’s teeth. Set up an appointment with a pediatric dentist today, and they’ll help restore your kid’s smile.
Swollen and Bleeding Gums-If your child is complaining of swollen, bleeding gums, you should know that these are symptoms of potentially serious oral health problems. Causes of swollen and bleeding gums can include tooth decay, missing teeth, or injuries to the gums. In this case, you should consult a pediatric dentist near you to help you determine the cause of the problem so that your children can have healthy mouths and bright smiles.
Tooth Sensitivity– Tooth sensitivity in kids is a cause for alarm. It could mean decay, infection, or even a new cavity. So visit your dentist as soon as possible to have it checked out. Your dentist will do an examination on your kid’s teeth, showing you on x-rays if there is decay or infection, and also show you what needs to be done to reduce the sensitivity of any decaying or infected teeth or cavities.
Dental Pain and Discomfort-Dental pain can be a scary but normal part of growing up. Children often experience dental pain as a result of different factors, including tooth decay, teething, gum infections, and trauma to the mouth. There are a few simple steps you can take at home to relieve your child’s dental pains, including applying an ice pack or a cold compress to reduce swelling or discomfort. Just make sure you don’t place anything directly against their teeth, and be sure to consult a kid’s dentist for help. If not addressed, dental pain can take a toll on your kid’s health, and the root cause of the pain can translate into a serious problem.
What to Expect from Pediatric Dentist
There are a lot of reasons why it’s important to take your kids in for regular dental checkups. That’s where pediatric dentists, or dentists that work with children, come in. Depending on the dentist and the laws in your state, pediatric dentists can provide care during your child’s first year and screen for oral health issues, including cavities and tooth decay starting at around birth. They also provide exams for older children, treatment for kids with special needs, and root canal therapy, among other services.
At What Age Should You Start Taking Your kids to a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are equipped and up to date with the latest procedures and education to meet your child’s dental needs. However, most parents don’t understand when they should start taking their child to a pediatric dentist. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), most pediatricians recommend that parents take their children to the dentist around their first birthday or earlier if they are prone to cavities or any other teeth-related problem.
By taking your child to the dentist, any cavities and other problems are discovered early. This allows for problems such as tooth decay and cavities to be kept to a minimum. Your child will also grow up with a positive attitude towards dental visits. Keep in mind that a pediatric dentist can handle teeth problems from cavities to chipped teeth, to gingivitis, pediatric dentists and provide relief to your kid’s dental problems. In this case, talk to a kids’ dentist today!