What Is A Pediatric Dentist?
The pediatric dentist has an extra two to three years of specialized training after dental school, and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. You may know someone who had a bad dental experience as a child- The pediatric dentist is dedicated to making sure that this never happens. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in explaining dental procedures, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs because of their extensive training in areas like behavior/fear/anxiety management, use of sedation/anesthesia when needed, and a focus on growth and development throughout the years.
Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?
They’re just baby teeth, right? Wrong! While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13. Also, primary teeth are much smaller and thinner than adult teeth, so cavities form a lot faster- in as little as a few weeks! For young children, this can lead to pain, inability to eat, and ultimately may lead to teeth having to be extracted. But it doesn’t end there! If a child loses their primary teeth too early, problems can arise with spacing and drifting of other teeth, and can result in blocking out the permanent teeth from eruptiong.
Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are also important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. Regular brushing and flossing is a step in the right direction on your journey to good oral health.
Learn more about the Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Treatment Philosophy here.
According to The American Dental Association, a child’s first dental exam should happen soon after the first baby tooth comes in or by the time the child turns one year old. Even though baby’s first teeth are temporary, getting an early start on excellent dental hygiene practices will help your child enjoy good oral health for life.
At Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we partner with you in the care and development of your child’s teeth from infancy to adolescence. Fostering trust with children at an early age while helping them develop excellent at-home oral-hygiene habits is our primary goal. We do this through sharing a wealth of educational information with you while performing regular checkups, cleanings, and treatments in our comfortable and fun dental environment.
Starting regular checkups early in your child’s life allow us to catch decay and signs of gum disease before they become serious, so we can correct any underlying hygiene issues and prevent problems. As your child grows, we can provide treatments such as sealants to protect new, vulnerable permanent teeth from decay as well as mouthguards to protect the teeth of your budding sports enthusiast. We can also identify and address potential orthodontic problems before they evolve into bigger money- and time-consuming issues.