Pediatric Dentistry

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Why are Primary Teeth Important
/ Care for Your Child’s Teeth / First VisitWhen Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth / How to Prevent Cavities / Baby Bottle Tooth DecaySippy Cups / Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking / Good Diet / Fluoride / The Best Toothpaste for My Child / Dental Sealants / Does Your Child Grind His or Her Teeth at Night / Mouth GuardsPediatric Dental Appliances / Early Orthodontic Treatment 

Pediatric dentistry (Children’s Dentistry) is the branch of dentistry that primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence.  

One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology.  Dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.”  Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences and find their “dental home” as early as possible.

Dentists fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene.  They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and holding space for the permanent teeth.

Other important functions of pediatric dentistry include:

Education – The dental team educates the child using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology, thus emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy.  In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.

Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen.  Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.

Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay.  In addition to providing check-ups and dental cleanings, dental team can also apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb-sucking and pacifier cessation ideas, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing techniques.

Intervention – In some cases, dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents.  In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may be scheduled.

If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.