start having regular visits with their doctor, the better their oral health will be in the future. Early checkups are important in order to make sure that your child does not develop cavities or tooth decay. Given that oral health is linked to overall health, poor oral health can affect your child’s overall wellbeing. Children with good teeth can chew easily, smile confidently, and speak clearly. According to both the American Academy of Pediatric and the American Dental Association, children should begin visiting a dentist by the age of 1, or as soon as a child starts teething. This “well baby visit” is designed to teach parents and caregivers the ins and outs of maintaining a child’s oral health. In this article, we will dive deeper into why you should take your child to a pediatric dentist.
Pediatric dentistry deals with children’s teeth. Pediatric dentists undergo a very different education from dentists who deal with adults. This is because a child’s teeth are different from those of an adult. A pediatric dentist has the job of maintaining a child’s teeth, from their baby teeth right through the eruption of their adult teeth. Children have very different dental needs to adults, which is why they need a dentist who specializes in treating their teeth.
Now, even though baby teeth all fall out eventually, their health is still important. As we said in the introduction, oral health is linked to overall health. So in the first sense, baby teeth matter if you care about your child’s overall health. They also perform very important functions and are crucial to a baby’s feeling of comfort. Baby teeth pave the way for adult teeth. They hold a fixed space for where a child’s adult teeth will be. So, for example, if a child were to lose a tooth prematurely, that space would close up. The adult tooth growing in the jaw below that space would have nowhere to go, causing bite problems and crowding.
Pediatric dentists are not just equipped to deal with a child’s dental needs, they are also experts at getting children to relax, developing healthy relationships with them and giving them a good dental experience. This is crucial to developing a healthy image of dentistry so that when a child grows into an adult, they feel comfortable going to see a dentist.
They also understand how to guide children though dental procedures and know how to sedate children in calming ways. This is especially important when a child needs extensive treatments done, such as getting a root canal or fillings. A pediatric dentist can calm and sedate a child and make sure the whole experience remains positive for the child. The evidence is clear that children should be visiting a dentist the moment they start teething. This is not necessarily to treat anything, but to educate parents and caregivers on what they need to do to maintain their child’s oral health. It’s also an important part of getting a child comfortable with dentistry and starting them off on a journey where they will feel comfortable going to see a dentist as an adult.