Children And Pediatric Dental Care

Children And Pediatric Dental Care

November 15, 2021

Kids might get excited, nervous, tense, or scared whenever a dental procedure is being mentioned. Although this is normal, it should not be encouraged as kids need more dental care than any other individual. This is because they are at that stage of development and transitions which involves their teeth and dental health.

The development of teeth starts from the womb but these teeth do not erupt above the gumline until about six to twelve months after the birth of a baby. A baby is born with twenty teeth in the gums consisting of four types of teeth. The baby teeth are divided into four-second molars, four first molars, four canines, four lateral incisors, and four central incisors.

Typically, the two bottom front teeth, known as the central incisors, are the first teeth to appear in a baby. This process of growing teeth is called teething and it can cause some level of discomfort for the baby. Therefore, a dental professional is needed to guide you as to what to do and how to do it.

Also, baby teeth are not as strong as permanent teeth which would later replace the milk teeth at about age six to seven years. They possess thinner enamels, which while making baby teeth whiter, also makes them vulnerable to decay.

Tooth decay is a serious dental problem that cuts across people of all ages. It can lead to loss of teeth, cause severe pain, and other dental or general health problems. Tooth decay is caused by dental plaques which are formed as a result of contact of the bacteria in the mouth with sugary/starchy food particles, and saliva. In babies, leaving milk in the mouth while asleep and frequent exposure to sugary liquids can lead to tooth decay.

These dental issues can lead to much worse health issues if not attended to on time. Therefore, the need for specialized dental care for children birthed pediatric dentistry. Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry concerned with the wellness of the dental health of children. It deals with the management, care, and improvement of dental health in children below the age of eighteen.

Pediatric dentists help kids to relax during dental procedures or check-ups because of their professionalism. They undergo years of training to meet the dental needs of kids. Even when kids need urgent dental care and attention, an emergency pediatric dentist is available to attend to their needs.

Pediatric dentists perform a lot of functions in a children’s dental center. These functions include:

  • They offer preventive dental care to children. Because children are very vulnerable to tooth decay and other dental infections, pediatric dentists offer preventive measures like fluoride treatments, dental sealants, etc to prevent decay.
  • They conduct dental examinations and cleanings and also diagnose dental problems in kids.
  • They offer treatment procedures for kids.
  • They provide oral health education and help kids to cultivate healthy oral habits.
  • They help to manage existing dental conditions in kids.
  • They care for oral injuries and give dental precautions.

Pediatric dentistry might be sometimes confused with children’s family dentistry, however, they do not mean the same thing. Pediatric dentists offer dental care to kids below the age of eighteen or twenty-one as the case may be.

On the other hand, pediatric dentists, as their name implies, offer dental care to everybody in a family. That is, family dentists can meet the needs of both the young and old in the family. This means family dentists also undergo pediatric training of some sort.

Dental problems treated by pediatric dentists that might occur in children include:

  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Malocclusion.
  • Thumb-sucking.
  • Gum diseases.
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Dental anxiety.
  • Canker sores.
  • Over-retained baby teeth.
  • Bruxism.
  • Baby tooth loss, etc.

Importance of Pediatric Dentistry

  • It helps to detect dental problems in kids early enough to stop them from causing major damage to dental health.
  • Treatment of dental health problems.
  • Professional advice on dental issues.
  • Comprehensive dental exams for kids.
  • Preventive dental care.