Pediatric dentistry (formerly Pedodontics/Paedodontics) primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence.
One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology. Our dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.” Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have a positive experience and find their “dental home” as early as possible.
Pediatric dentistry fulfills many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene. Emphasis is placed on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.
Other important functions include:
Education - The dentist and hygienist will speak to the child and parent about the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, the dentist is able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen. Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chance of later tooth decay. In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, the dentist is also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb-sucking/pacifier cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.
Intervention – In some cases, the dentist may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), a space maintainer or an orthodontic appliance may be fitted.
If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.