Pediatric Dentistry is the branch of dentistry which deals with the oral health of children from birth through adolescent, and also in the specialized care of “special needs” patients, such as those with autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation. Pediatric Dentistry focuses on the growth and development of the pediatric and adolescent patient, the management and prevention of oral disease and all aspects of pediatric restorative techniques. Also, because the pediatric dentist have to gain the trust and confidence of their patients in an effort to make the dental visit enjoyable, child psychology is emphasized as one of the main components of pediatric training.
Pediatric Dentists are typically required to complete an extra two to three years of post-doctoral dental training, after which they are eligible for board certification by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Most states in the United States, with the exception of Texas, do require a pediatric dentist to have a special permit of license to represent oneself as a pediatric dentist, or limit their professional practice to Pediatric Dentistry.
Pediatric dentists places special emphasis on the prevention of tooth decay, especially since there are studies which have shown that poor oral health in children can not only lead to impaired school performance, but also poor social relationships.
In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child's medical needs, our pediatric dentist is uniquely qualified to protect your child's oral health, using the most advanced techniques.
When Should My Child See A Pediatric Dentist & Have a Dental Home?
Dental tooth decay or cavities, is the most common disease in children. 40% of children will have tooth decay by the time they are in kindergarten. Cavities occur in all racial and socioeconomic groups. In fact, cavities are 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. This is despite the fact that tooth decay is a disease that is preventable.
When cavities are not treated, children can have pain and infection that can lead to eating problems, speech delays, difficulty in school and learning, as well as future problems with erupting permanent teeth. Education and prevention of cavities is one of the responsibilities of the dental home, and prevention of cavities can save children from fillings later on. Also, oral health is critically important to the overall health and wellness of infants, children, and young adults.
Your baby should have their first dental visit by 12-18 months.
Why so early? There are a several reasons for seeing the dentist by that age.
Teeth are at risk of cavities as soon as the tooth erupts into the mouth
- Bacteria causes cavities. Babies get these bacteria from parents, typically between the age of 6 months to 30 months. This is the best time to start prevention.
- Visiting a pediatric dentist early enables the establishment of a relationship, a dental home and begins a lifelong oral health programs to minimize tooth decay.
- Research shows children who wait to have the first dental visit at age two or three are much more likely to require filling of cavities and emergency dental visits.
- The Journal of Pediatrics demonstrated that children who had the first dental visit before the age of 1 had 40% lower dental costs, on average, during the first five years of life when compared to children who had the first dental visit later.
- Waiting to the age of 3 is too late for prevention and often means that there will be treatment needs at the first dental visit.
Contact our office more information about Children's Dentistry.
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