Pediatric dentistry or children's dentistry is a special branch of dental science that solely deals with diagnosing and treating oral issues of young patients. A pediatric dentist would be given extra training for 2 years in the specified domain. They would be capable of treating children right from infancy all the way till they reach adolescence.
The American Dental Association recommends parents to take their child for their first visit to a dentist’s office starting at the age of six months. This is when the baby would experience the emerging of its first tooth and parents should be well-informed about taking care of them.
The first visit
During the first visit, a thorough screening of the oral cavity will be conducted to check for signs of infections, cavities, malocclusion, etc. Some of the factors that could influence your baby’s oral health are breastfeeding, thumb sucking, use of a pacifier, excessive consumption of sugary foods, oral hygiene, etc. We suggest you sit with your baby in your arms during the procedure so that they don’t make a fuss or get too nervous.
In case we feel the presence of any hidden cavities in the teeth, an x-ray may be taken to get a better view of the teeth. A fluoride treatment may be carried out to increase the teeth’s resistance to cavities. While doing all this, we give a lot of importance to ensure we build a friendly relationship with the child as it helps us understand and treat them better.
Children are naturally drawn towards sugary foods such as chocolate, pastries, candies, gummy bears, etc. Though the consumption of foods rich in sugar is frowned upon, the issue doesn’t lie the consumption itself. It’s about how long the sugary residue is allowed to stay on the surface of the teeth. The longer the layer of sugar is left on the teeth, the higher the chances of getting cavities. Hence, parents should always keep a check on this.
Once your child starts to teeth, make sure you choose a soft-bristle toothbrush and a fluoride-rich toothpaste for them. Until they are able to brush their teeth on their own, which is when they turn 4 years and above, make sure you assist them with it. Getting rid of the food debris, accumulated plaque, etc. is of high significance.
Parents must make sure their child isn’t getting a hang of habits that could affect the alignment of their teeth. Thumb sucking, teeth grinding, sticking out the tongue pretty frequently, chewing on pen caps or chewing gum, etc. can alter the alignment of their teeth. Also, when your child’s milk teeth start to fall off, make sure it happens at the right time. Otherwise, the permanent teeth can emerge deviated and it would become quite difficult to bring them back into alignment.
Call us at (630) 897-1300 or schedule an online appointment to know more about children's dentistry and how best to care about your child’s teeth.