The Role of the Pediatric Dentist
The field of pediatric dentistry is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health care and unique needs of young children. In addition to dental school training you need to complete an additional 2-3 years of a post-doctoral residency program in order to become a pediatric dentist specialist. The pediatric dentist is concerned about the overall health of your child and thus the oral health is an extremely important part of the total health. By establishing a “dental home” we can implement and encourage proper dental health habits that can keep the child free from any future dental of oral disease. Our focus is on PREVENTION and the early detection of dental diseases. Furthermore, by making the visit to the dental office a pleasant experience we can establish trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime.
The Prevention of Tooth Decay
The 4 components necessary to have cavities are:
- A tooth
- Some form of sugar or substrate
- A certain amount of time
We can together make the teeth strong and prevent the harmful bacteria from forming to cause cavities by developing healthy eating habits, proper oral hygiene, and the role time plays. Dental decay is an INFECTION of the tooth and with early visits we can prevent unnecessary cavities and treatment.
Why Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth) are Important!
It is extremely important that we maintain the primary teeth until they are lost naturally. The teeth of the early years serve 4 critical functions:
- Your child maintains proper nutrition by being able to chew
- Significant in speech development
- Of immense importance is that the primary teeth help save space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to erupt. Losing teeth due to decay pre maturely can cause significant orthodontic problems in the future.
- Finally, a nice and healthy smile makes your child feel good about himself and the way he looks.
The First Dental Visit For Your Infant or Child
You should plan your first dental visit shortly after the eruption of your child’s first tooth and no later than the first birthday. Thus, any early stages of tooth decay or infection can be detected at an early stage and much more easily treated.
At your child’s first visit we try to implement an oral hygiene program and stress the importance of hygiene and fluorides. We conduct a caries risk assessment and discuss information about early childhood caries. This can be caused by various nursing habits, bottles filled with sugar substrates, and the inappropriate use of sippy cups.
We will also discuss how finger and pacifier habits can adversely affect the development of your child’s dentition.
The Need To Develop a Team Approach
The goal of optimal oral health is an integral part of the total overall health of your child. We are the pediatricians of dentistry. We work with pediatricians and other specialists in order to give your child the appropriate health care that he needs.