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Pediatric Dentistry and Why It Is Fast Becoming a Trend


Pediatric dentists treat oral health in children. Most families, however, retain one dentist to take care of adult and children's oral needs.  Although this works for some families, there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat the children in the family. In this article, we shall examine the benefits of pediatric dentistry and how different it is from normal dental care. Furthermore, the article delves into what a parent or child can expect inside pediatric dental office and how to prepare for it.

Benefits of Going to a Pediatric Dentistry

Children have different oral needs than adults since they will be losing their baby teeth by adolescence and getting in all their permanent teeth at that time. Both these stages require different dental care and therefore a pediatric dentist is the best bet to ensure your child gets the best, professional services.

Good oral health starts from childhood and having a pediatric dentist will be a good starting step towards starting your child off with oral hygiene. A pediatric dentist will recommend the appropriate toothpaste and toothbrush for the child, as well as teach them the correct brushing and flossing technique. This will get your child started on the right path to good oral hygiene. Parents don't always know everything about dental hygiene and might make the wrong decisions regarding crucial aspects of their children's oral health. 

Children have unique oral needs and given their proclivities towards snacking and sweets, they need a professional who will make a routine evaluation of their oral health, by factoring in gum health, the strength of teeth, and whether there is crowding or any orthodontic needs. Additionally, they will address the diet and ways that a sugar-filled diet and snacking can increase dental decay in children.  These issues mainly arise in children and that's why they require a specialized dentist. 

What Do Pediatric Dentists Do?

The primary work of a pediatric dentist starts with conducting oral health exams, and this goes for normal dentists as well as pediatric dentists. An oral exam examines the status of the teeth, gums, and even the tongue. The exam dictates what type of oral treatment will follow, and in some instances, where the patient has been taking care of their oral health, there might not be any need for treatment. 

Children often develop dental decay due to diet and oral hygiene. They require regular teeth cleaning and cavity removal. Since the teeth will likely be baby teeth, the pediatric dentist will ensure their treatment does not affect the underlying adult teeth that will come after. Cleaning also comes with a regular fluoride treatment to ensure teeth grow stronger and healthy. 

Children are also prone to injuries and it is the work of the pediatric dentist to repair dental injuries. Injuries such as fractured and displaced teeth are common in children since their bones are still developing and are weaker than in an adult. The closer they are to losing their baby teeth, the easier it is for teeth to simply dislodge under weak pressure and impact due to minimal root structure. 

Pediatric dentists are better placed to diagnose the early onset of oral conditions such as an improper bite or crooked teeth. These conditions are normal and when diagnosed early, can be easily corrected. 

How to Become a Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist has full medical degree qualifications featuring a bachelor’s degree in dentistry and goes through several dental certification exams, which culminate in the attainment of a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental surgery (DDS). Although there are two different degrees, the qualifications are the same and the degree is dependent on the school only.

A graduate student will then have to go through the residency program to train in one or more of the following areas: orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, periodontics, or advanced general dentistry. These areas of specialization are similar in some aspects but also completely different since they handle different aspects of oral health care.

The final stage is receiving board certification based on the state of practice.  To become board-certified in pediatric dentistry, the candidate must pass a written examination along with a two-hour oral examination.  The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry oversees the board certification process for pediatric dentists.

How to Choose the Best Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

As a parent or guardian, you must find the right medical and healthcare professionals to cater to your family. Finding the right pediatric dentist for your children is a great step to ensuring they have good dental health. Not all pediatric dentists will be the right fit for your child and some factors may affect your decision. 

One major factor to consider is of course availability and convenience. A pediatric dentist should be close to you, and able to respond to emergencies. When it comes to children’s healthcare, convenience is key because a small accident might require an emergency room or emergency attention. This means you need your pediatric dentist to work close to where you live. A short drive is better than an hour's drive when your child is in severe dental pain. 

Children are tough to handle and you will therefore need a pediatric dentist who is great with children and will be patient enough to listen to what your child needs. Children are very intuitive and if their primary relationship with a healthcare giver is negative or traumatic, then it will affect their lives as adults. Some adults fear the dentist's office because they had a painful memory of a time at the dentist. A good pediatric dentist will ensure they leave their underage patients smiling back home. 

Make sure you conduct a good background and expertise check on your preferred pediatric dentist before you settle on one. Talk to other parents to see if there is someone that they take their children to and have had a good experience.

In conclusion, having a good pediatric dentist is a great start for your child's dental hygiene. It will foster a positive interaction with doctors that will do your child a lot of good in the future as an adult. Overall, pediatric dentists manage the health of your child’s teeth, make sure your child's teeth grow properly, and transition into adult teeth without any oral issues. 

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