Dentistry For Children - What To Expect
As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to live in the best houses, go to the best schools, and more importantly, enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. We also want to preserve the pearly white smiles of children and make every effort to ensure their optimal dental health. In this blog, we will discuss various aspects of dental treatment for children, and the ways which can help us ensure that our kids enjoy a lasting and beautiful smile. So, read on to learn more about what’s best for your child’s dental treatment.
What Is A Children's Dentist Called?
A children’s dentist is called a pediatric dentist, or a paedodontist. While both dentists and pediatric dentists licensed dental professionals, they have different job descriptions. A general dentist provides basic treatment covering all the aspects of dentistry, On the other hand, the American Academy of Pediatrics defines a paediatric dentist as a professional who is dedicated to look after the oral health of children from infancy to their teen years.
When Should Be The First Dental Visit Of A Child?
Oral hygiene maintenance of children must start right after their birth. At the same time, parents must ensure that they take their kids to see a dentist very early in their lives. The National Health Service (NHS) recommends taking your child to see a dentist soon after the appearance of their first milk tooth - which can occur around 6 months of age. This is to ensure the optimal growth and development of your child’s teeth, jawbones, and the face.
What Types Of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?
Pediatric dentists provide a number of services, which include:
- Infant oral health exams, including risk assessment for tooth decay in the mother and the child
- Preventive dental care including cleaning (if required) and fluoride varnishes
- Diagnosing and intercepting parafunctional dental habits like tongue thrust, thumb sucking, or nail biting.
- Early assessment and intervention for orthodontic disorders
- Advice regarding tooth-friendly diet
- Treatment of tooth decay
- Management of oral conditions like gum disease, cysts, and infections
- Extraction of milk teeth when they don’t fall off automatically, and ensure the eruption of the permanent ones according to their schedule
- Providing space maintainers for milk teeth that are lost prematurely
Is It Important To Treat Cavities In Baby Teeth?
Many parents think that looking after their child’s milk teeth is not necessary, as they will ultimately fall off. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous assumption. Your child;s milk teeth are as important as their permanent ones. This is because the milk teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth. If the primary teeth are lost prematurely, it can interfere with the normal eruption of their permanent successors. Besides, milk teeth also help kids learn to eat and speak. Therefore, it is very important to treat dental cavities in the milk teeth in children.
What Do You Do With Children With Molar Tooth Decay?
Although the molar milk teeth in children will be ultimately replaced with their permanent successors, any dental cavities in these teeth should be treated promptly. Dentists typically apply temporary restorations on primary molar teth, which are about to fall off. Your dentist will advise the best course of action after a detailed clinical examination.
What Are The Common Issues Of Dental Health In Children?
The most common dental problem in children is tooth decay. Apart from that, other commonly occurring issues in children are:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Soft tissue injuries
- Orthodontic problems
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting
- Dental anxiety and phobia
Is It Worth Putting Children's Teeth In Crowns?
Dental crowns are used for reinforcing grossly damaged or weakened teeth. Dentists can also place crowns over primary teeth that are grossly damaged. However, these crowns are generally different than the ones used on permanent teeth. Typically dentists use pre-fabricated stainless steel crowns to restore damaged primary teeth.
How Do Dentists Pull Out Baby Teeth From Children?
Baby teeth normally come off by themselves once their underlying permanent successors are ready to erupt. In case a primary tooth does not come off by itself, the dentist can pull that off painlessly. Paediatric dentists can special instruments for pulling out baby teeth. However, in many cases the teeth already mobile and do not require considerable effort to pull out.
What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Paediatric Dentist Early?
Dental experts recommend taking your child to see a paediatric dentist before thier first birthday, ideally soon after their first primary tooth erupts. Taking your child to a dentist early in their life has many benefits. The foremost benefit is that the dentist can diagnose and treat underlying infections that may cause signficant damage if left untreated. Secondly, your child’s dentist will closely monitor your child’s oral hygiene habits and tooth eruption pattern - and corect it promptly. As a result, children who are seen by paediatric dentists early in life generally don’t have orthodontic problems, or require minor treatment. Finally, regular dentist visits also ensure that a child develops good dental habits that are practiced throughout life.
Finding the right peadiatric dentist for your children is not an easy task. However, if you are living in Liverpool or suburbs, you can visit Crosby Dental for all your child’s paediatric dental needs. So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with us today and let us ensure that your child retains their pearly white, adorable smile throughout life.
GDC No: 64847
Peter qualified from Manchester University Dental School in 1989 and after returning to his hometown of Liverpool, he established Crosby Dental. He has a special interest in high-end cosmetic dentistry and orthodontic treatments. Peter offers private treatment only.