What is a Children’s Dentist Called
The dental professional that specializes in the care of children’s teeth and oral health is called a Pedodontist or Pediatric Dentist. Just as you take your child to a Pediatrician, it is important for them to see an appropriate doctor for their oral health as well!
A Pediatric Dentist completes four years of dental school like a general Dentist and then goes on to an additional two years of specialized training in residency for pediatrics. This includes patients from infancy through 18 years of age.
Baby teeth begin to push through the gums at 6 months of age and are usually fully erupted by the age of two. Most of the time, children begin to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7 as their adult teeth begin to push through. Children are born with both sets of teeth in their jaw so it is very important for the primary teeth to be cared for just as you do your own adult teeth! Decay in the primary teeth can spread to the secondary teeth and lead to a lifetime of dental issues for your child.
What care can I expect my child to receive from their Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist will provide the same comprehensive oral health care that you received from your general dentist. As soon as you begin taking your child to the Dentist, you can expect to see treatment such as:
- Comprehensive infant oral health exams
- Diagnosis of oral conditions resulting from medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, congenital heart defect, and even attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Preventative care including professional dental cleanings and fluoride treatments
- Restorative work for decay or defects in the teeth
- Treatment and management of conditions gum disease, pediatric periodontal disease, ulcers, and short frenulae
- Dietary and habit counseling to ensure proper nutrition and the cessation of bad habits like thumb sucking
- Treatment of dental emergencies such as knocked-out teeth and fractured or displaced teeth
A Pediatric Dentist will even provide early assessment and treatment for orthodontic needs, straightening your child's teeth and correcting a bad bite when necessary.
How do I find a Pediatric Dentist to treat my child?
One of the best ways to find a trusted Pediatric Dentist is to ask your friends and family! Your Pediatrician will also be able to provide a list of pediatric dentists in your area which may include those working in a private practice, a dental school, or even a medical center.
A Pediatric Dentist is a great way to ensure that your child receives specialized care for their oral health so when your Pediatrician advises you to take your child in for their first dental appointment, you can rest assured that your child will be treated by the appropriate dental professional. A Pediatric Dentist knows how to treat children in a way that will make them comfortable and help them learn how to care for their own teeth. A Pediatric Dentist also uses equipment that is specially designed for children and their offices are typically designed with children in mind and offer ways to keep your child entertained while they wait for their turn.