The chances are your parents took you to a pediatric dentist, also frequently called a child dentist, when you were a kid. But unless you’re in the field or have children of your own, you might not know much about pediatric dentistry or its importance.
Pediatric dentists tend to the oral health care of infants until they grow through their teen years, like a general dentist with adult patients. However, pediatric dentists differ from other dentists in a few key areas.
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Is Pediatric Dentistry the Same as Family Dentistry?
Many people believe pediatric dentistry is a synonym for family dentistry, but they have a critical distinction. While family dentists operate on patients of all ages, pediatric dentists specialize in treating children.
Dentists in both fields have similar educational backgrounds and dental experience, but pediatric dentists tailor their skills and services to fit the needs of growing children and their baby teeth.
Common Procedures Performed by a Child Dentist
Just like visiting the dentist as an adult, a child dentist will perform the following common procedures for your little one:
- Stainless Steel Crowns
- Tooth Coloured Fillings
Pediatric dentistry is about more than cleaning teeth and treating tooth decay. While those are central fixtures of the process, child dentists can perform several dental and general health procedures.
Intensive Pediatric Dental Care
While the above treatments are common across the board no matter your age, there are aspects of dental care that pediatric dentists specialize in.
Reconstructive Dental Care
Let’s face it, kids are far more adventurous than adults in most cases. They jump, they run, they climb, they play and they fall. Not to mention the amounts of sugar they consume. Baby teeth are more sensitive to bumps and decay than an adult tooth. A pediatric dentist will offer restorative treatment to repair a damaged or a decayed tooth.
Infant Health Exams
The pediatric dentist will perform an infant dental health exam during your child’s first visit. This exam will assess general oral health and check any incoming teeth for diseases or defects. Additionally, pediatric dentists can analyze your family’s dental health history to gauge whether your kid is at risk for a genetic oral health issue.
Early Disease Treatment
If the pediatric dentist spots a potential issue during the infant health exam, they will schedule subsequent appointments to treat the problems. Pediatric dentists are adept at treating and removing several oral ailments, including:
- Gum disease
- Crooked or damaged teeth
- Cavities or growth defects
Regular disease treatment from a qualified pediatric dentist will ensure your kid’s teeth come in without an issue and that their dental health remains stable into adulthood.
Dental Behaviour Management
Dental behaviour management is physical counselling specifically for teaching children to keep their teeth healthy. For example, a pediatric dentist can coax your child out of their thumb-sucking habit, an act that disrupts natural teeth development.
Behaviour management can also include your child’s pediatric dentist aligning their crooked teeth and even offering you dietary guidelines for keeping their dental hygiene in good form.
Children Should See Their Pediatric Dentist Before Their Teeth Come In
If you take one thing about pediatric dentistry away from this post, it should be that children need to see their pediatric dentist before their teeth even come in to preserve oral health.
Specifically, most children’s baby teeth will come in when they’re three years old, and you should take them to their dentist when they’re one.
Though it might sound pointless to schedule a dental visit for your child before they even have teeth to clean, it checks a few vital boxes. First, it gets your kid in the rhythm of regular appointments and comfortable with the examination process. Second, and most importantly, it will ensure their teeth are on track to come in without issue.
Pediatric dentists will identify hidden oral health issues and treat them before they become problematic. That way, your kid will have perfectly healthy teeth when it is time to clean them.
Children Need Consistency With Their Pediatric Dentists
Many adults suffer from dental anxiety that keeps them from seeking regular cleanings and surgeries, even when they’re necessary for overall health. Typically, that anxiety stems from a bad experience with a dentist as a child.
One great way to get your child comfortable with dentist visits early on is to find a pediatric dentist and stick with them. That way, they can develop a trust with the dental process that carries over into adulthood.
Staying consistent with your pediatric dentist also allows the dental staff to treat your child more accurately, thanks to the dentist’s first-hand familiarity with your kid’s oral history.
Pediatric Dentists Are Everywhere
Because many people don’t know much about pediatric dentistry, they assume that child-specific dentists are hard to find. But pediatric dentists are as common as general dentists, and you’re sure to find plenty in your area with a quick internet search.
There are many private pediatric dental clinics across Canada, though most operate in dental schools and medical centers. And even if you can’t find a pediatric dentist you trust near your home, your pediatrician will likely have a long list of recommendations.
Don’t miss our blog on the cost of a root canal in Canada.
Find Group Dental Insurance That Covers Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentists are an essential part of family dental care. And if you’re running a business with parents on the payroll, they’ll want to know your insurance covers their kid’s oral health as well as it does their own.
Group Enroll can help you find the perfect group dental insurance plan for your business. We sort Canadian insurance providers and packages to help businesses quickly find a plan within their budget that matches their company’s needs.