Taking care of a child’s mouth and teeth is not the same as taking care of an adult’s teeth. Although admittedly there are similarities, a child should not be mistaken as a little adult. Dentistry specifically for children, from infancy to adolescence, is called pediatric dentistry. This specialized field of dentistry was previously known as pedodontics in the United States, or paedodontics in some countries like the United Kingdom.
What Are The Main Differences Between Dentistry And Pediatric Dentistry?
The difference lies in the fact that children are still growing, or developing physical maturity, while adults are fully developed. On average, a child’s first teeth appear when he or she is about eight months old. By the time children reach two and a half years, they should be ready for their first appointment with the dentist.
Also, there are habits among children that endanger their oral health. A good example of this is thumb sucking. Such habits are no longer present in adults.
Another important part of pediatric dentistry is the nutritional advice its practitioners provide their patients. Children, being children, will eat their fair share of sweets that will eventually lead to cavities and tooth decay. This is one of the reasons why children should see their dentist twice each year. Furthermore, pediatric dentists can also teach them the correct way to brush and floss their teeth.
Some children are born with or develop disabilities while they are growing into adulthood. These may be physical, mental, or psychological in nature. Dealing with these conditions is the part of pediatric dentistry called special needs dentistry. This is an extension of the growth and development that pediatric dentists undergo during their training.
It is quite common to see children who, after their first visit to the dentist, are fearful of returning. This is because the impression they got created apprehensions. These may lead to unreasonable fear, and the child will be hesitant, at the very least, to see the dentist again. The usual dentist’s office, or clinic, is not child-friendly and appears to be, in their perception, a rather scary place full of torture implements.
What Are Some Common Procedures In Pediatric Dentistry?
Some of the more common procedures in pediatric dentistry are infant oral exams. An integral part of this is evaluating both the baby and the mother for their susceptibility to dental caries. Counseling will also be provided regarding certain habits of the child that affect oral hygiene, such as pacifier use and thumb sucking.
Preventive dental care is also done. These include fluoride treatment, cleaning, and advice on proper nutrition that enhances oral health. Assessing and ensuring that the bite develops correctly and the teeth grow straight is another important task of the pediatric dentist. Dental injuries, like knocked-out teeth and tooth fractures, are also treated.
Oral health problems like gum disease, mouth ulcers, tooth cavities, periodontal diseases and defects are diagnosed and treated. If such intervention is done early, these problems can be kept from worsening. Other diseases can also affect the mouth and teeth. For instance, diabetes, asthma, congenital heart defects, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, hay fever, and many more are associated with certain oral conditions and need to be addressed early.
What Is The One Most Significant Advantage Of Pediatric Dentistry?
Making the visit to the dentist an enjoyable experience for the child is one of the main fortes of pediatric dentistry. This will help them be more amenable to having their oral health problems identified and addressed early on. Toys, bright colors, cartoon characters, and camouflaged dental equipment made child-friendly are commonplace in a pediatric dentist’s office.
If the child comes to view the dentist’s office as a fun place to be, they will visit regularly and see it as a place where painful tooth problems are resolved. They will then carry this, and their beautiful pearly white teeth, into adulthood.
Original Source: Enzine Articles