What Is Pediatric Dentistry?

Navigating the world of oral health can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to your child’s dental care. One term you may have come across is pediatric dentistry. But what exactly is pediatric dentistry and why is it so important for children? Let’s dive deeper into this specialized field to better understand its significance for your child’s oral health.

Understanding Pediatric Dentistry 

Pediatric dentistry is a specialty area that focuses solely on the oral health needs of infants, children, teens, and those with special health care needs. Pediatric dentists pursue two to three years of advanced training beyond dental school to recognize the unique challenges children face including dental developmental issues, anxiety, risk factors for tooth decay, and gum disease. Their goal is to provide comprehensive preventative and therapeutic oral health care for children from infancy through adolescence.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child?

There are many excellent reasons to choose a pediatric dentist for your child’s care. Pediatric dental offices cater their setting, equipment, and overall treatment approach directly to children. With kid-friendly décor, small dental tools, and a gentle touch, they aim to create a calm, anxiety-free environment to help kids feel at ease. Pediatric dentists also have specialized skills and experience to treat dental injuries, cavities, and alignment issues specific to growing smiles. Perhaps most importantly, they focus on preventative education to help instill good oral care habits from an early age.

What Types of Services Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?

Pediatric dentists offer a full range of services to care for children’s smiles including:

  • Comprehensive dental exams to check for proper bite alignment, signs of infections, orthodontic issues, jaw growth, tooth eruption order, and harmful habits like thumb-sucking  
  • Professional cleanings to remove plaque buildup and stains
  • Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities
  • Dental sealants to protect teeth from decay 
  • Fillings, crowns, and spacers for repairing damaged teeth
  • Extractions and space maintainers when necessary
  • Custom treatment plans regarding diet and daily oral hygiene 

During well-child visits, pediatric dentists will monitor emerging teeth, gum health, anatomy, and jaw growth. They may make special recommendations regarding nutrition and oral hygiene routines to keep your child’s smile healthy.

Importance of Pediatric Preventative Dental Care

One of the most essential functions of a pediatric dentist is providing early preventative care. By starting dental visits before age one, or when the first tooth emerges, pediatric dentists can detect potential issues early on when they are easiest to treat. Regular exams allow your Alexandria pediatric dentist to apply protective treatments like sealants and fluoride, further preventing problems. Early screening and preventative care is shown to reduce children’s risk of dental diseases and the need for invasive treatments down the road.

Establishing a Dental Home for Children  

Rather than just seeing your family dentist, establishing a “dental home” with a pediatric specialist ensures continuity of care centered around your child’s needs. The specialized training and kid-friendly approach helps minimize anxiety while providing excellent clinical care over the long haul. Pediatric dentists become familiar with the nuances of your child’s growth for more customized preventative and restorative treatments meeting their needs.

free first visit for kids under 15 months!