Pediatric dentists are dedicated doctors dealing with the oral health in children starting from infancy and through the teen years. They have the necessary experience and qualifications to take care of a child’s teeth, mouth, and gums throughout the different stages of childhood. The growth of teeth in children starts within the first 6 months of their life. By the age of 6 or 7 years, they start losing their first set of baby teeth, which are then eventually replaced by secondary set, the permanent teeth. Due to improper dental care children may suffer from oral decay and diseases that can cause a lot of pain and complications throughout their lifetime. In today’s scenario, early childhood dental caries, which is an infectious disease, is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common in children than hay fever.
Pediatric dentists have to complete at least 4 years of dental school and 2 additional years of residency training dealing with the dentistry for infants, children, children with special needs, and teens. Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive oral health care including infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child; preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments; as well as nutrition and diet recommendations; habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking); early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics) and repair of tooth cavities or defects.. It may also include diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder; management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, and pediatric periodontal disease, along with providing care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth).
Pediatric dentists may practice in various locations such as private dental schools and medical centers. They may have their private practice as well. Your pediatrician (child doctor) can help you to find a pediatric dentist for your child near your home.
Children are not adults and therefore less matured. They do not always cooperate or keep patience during the course of a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to make children comfortable for examination and treatment purposes. In addition, the equipments in use at the place of practice are usually designed keeping children in mind. A pediatric dentist has on the offer, a wide range of treatment options, along with expertise and training to take care of your child’s teeth, mouth, and gums. When pediatrician suggests your child to undergo a dental examination, it is best to consult a pediatric dentist.