Although a general dentist can certainly provide care for children, many parents prefer for their children to see a pediatric dentist with specific training in the unique dental needs of children, such as developmental issues and gentle techniques.
The path to good oral health begins early. Therefore, it’s important to establish a relationship between your child and a pediatric dentist by the child’s first birthday or when the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.
The pediatric dentist is well-versed in the developmental milestones that children experience. This specialized knowledge can help these practitioners detect problems quite early and address them before they become a major issue. This can be particularly helpful when early orthodontic intervention is indicated due to some irregular pattern of development. An early referral to an orthodontist may help a child to avoid more involved treatments at an older age.
A dentist who specializes in caring for children may also be inclined to take a gentler approach and dedicate more time to reassuring potentially fearful patients. Parents who model good behavior in their own dental visits can also help to overcome any anxieties about dental appointments and treatments that a child may have.
Pediatric specialists also can teach age-appropriate oral hygiene techniques to their patients and can advise parents on important topics, such as when a child can begin brushing his or her own teeth.
Of course children do share some dental concerns with their parents, such as preventing cavities and gum disease. Even baby teeth can be susceptible to tooth decay, and if those teeth are lost prematurely, their permanent replacements may erupt too early, creating potential problems.
Children should also keep to a similar schedule of dental visits as their parents. Everyone in the family should be getting cleanings and checkups every six months, at least.
A pediatric specialist can be tremendously beneficial to your child’s oral health. Call Richardson Dentistry at (972) 218-0078 to learn more about our philosophy on treating children’s dental problems and to learn more about our practice.