The area of pediatric dentistry focusses on the oral health of children from birth through their adolescence. The American Dental Association (ADA) has acknowledged pediatric dentistry as its own special field, and therefore requires dentists to go through several years of additional training after completing a general dentistry program. At the end of this training, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry will give them a diploma (Diplomate ABPD). Some pediatric dentists opt to specialize in care for children with special needs, specifically children with autism, or cerebral palsy.
Psychology is a vital aspect of pediatric dentistry that cannot be overlooked – not only do we believe that children deserve excellent dental care, but that they also deserve a fun, welcoming, and educational atmosphere that gets them excited about health. Our team always avoids threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection,” acknowledging that dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood. So it’s of vital that children have positive experiences at the dentist during early age.
Pediatric dentists monitor a child’s overall oral health, just as dentists so for adults. The difference is that a pediatric dentist will place extra attention of spotting oral health concerns early on, ensuring that these do not continue into adulthood. They also make sure that adult teeth develop properly, and that children are developing good chewing habits, proper speech, and also that they hold enough room for their adult teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children first see an orthodontist by the age of 7 and no later than 10. While most patients have to visit two separate offices for dental and orthodontic servicing, patients at It’s YOUR Time Dental can enjoy the added convenience of having a dental team who can perform dental exams as well as orthodontic exams. For children, this is especially convenient as our team can monitor not only the developing oral health of your children, but also their orthodontic development as well. For teens and braces patients, enjoy the convenience of your dentist also being your orthodontist!
Our pediatric specialists educate child patients using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology, teaching the importance of maintaining strong teeth and a healthy mouth. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
By continuously tracking growth and development, pediatric dentists are 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.
Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay. In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, pediatric dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb- sucking/pacifier/smoking cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.
In some cases, pediatric dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral health treatments with parents. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may become necessary.
Many children enjoy participating in athletics, which can often result in avoidable injuries to the teeth and jaw. To prevent these types of injuries, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children participating in athletics wear a fitted mouthguard, which are provided by the team at It’s YOUR Time Dental. If your child is participating in athletics, be sure to ask our team about a fitted mouthguard!