Every parent wants to choose the best options when it comes to their child’s general health; the choice for their oral care should be no different. This is where pediatric dentists step in, as they form an essential part of your child’s developing oral and dental tissues.
When looking for a pediatric dentist, it is crucial to remember a few pointers that will not only help your child’s advancing dental health, but will also make them look forward to their next appointment with their dentist.
Pediatric dentists are just like general dentists, but they undergo an additional two or three years of specialized training apart from four years of dental school, which makes them experts in the field of children’s dentistry. Pediatric dentists also have to be licensed to treat and perform dental procedures on children. When choosing a pediatric dentist for your child, make sure the dentist of your choice has the necessary qualifications and expertise to treat your ward. The extra years of training and experience allow pediatric dentists to learn the behavior patterns of their little patients specifically and know how to make them feel comfortable at times of unease.
First Visit at the Dental Clinic:
A child’s first visit to their pediatric dentist can make or break any future relationships they might have with their dentist, even as an adult. The first appointment with a pediatric dentist should ideally be a simple consultation, where the child and dentist get to interact and know each other. The earlier this introduction is made, the easier all future appointments will be.
Comfortable and Welcoming Environment:
Going to the dentist is rarely something even adults look forward to; it is only natural for children to feel occasionally frightened of the idea. One of the essential features of a pediatric dental clinic should be a warm and welcoming environment that puts the child at ease and dispels most of their unwarranted fears. The décor of the clinic and the behavior of the dental staff at the clinic plays just as important a role in calming the child as does the pediatric dentist.
The behavior of the Pediatric Dentist:
Pediatric dentists are adept at offering children a positive experience at their clinic. An easy and understandable vocabulary to describe the dental environment and different techniques such as ‘Tell, Show, Do’ help children learn about the treatments they are undergoing, which puts them at ease. Sometimes even funny voices and non-verbal expressions go a long way in breaking down barriers with children. In ‘Tell, Show, Do,’ the child is first told what the dentist will be doing, then shown the procedure on a toy or a dummy. Once the child is comfortable with going ahead with the procedure, the treatment is carried out. This builds a relationship of trust and communication between the pediatric dentist and the child, which establishes a positive experience that will carry forward in all future appointments.
Advocates of a Preventative Approach:
Children are often more prone to dental decay due to their overconsumption of sweet and sugary foods. Moreover, their young milk teeth are not as resistant to cavities as the adult teeth. Pediatric dentists understand the mouths of young children and are capable of recognizing dental problems before they become worse and may require extensive treatments. Most pediatric dentists are great advocates of dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Dental sealants can be applied on the surfaces of the child’s teeth, which protects them from food and plaque accumulation. This is especially significant for the tiny grooves present on the teeth that are difficult to clean even with regular brushing.
Fluoride is an essential element that makes teeth resistant to decay by up to 95% and is even capable of repairing small areas of dental decay before they become large cavities. Fluoride treatments can be given to children in the form of toothpaste, in-office gel application, and even fluoride supplements. The amount of fluoride your child needs usually depends on their existing intake of the element through drinking water or toothpaste.