Benefits of Pediatric Dentistry

Parents may wonder why their child should see a pediatric dentist rather than the general dentist who treats older family members. With their specialized expertise and training, pediatric dentists are uniquely equipped to treat children for optimal oral health.

The dental needs of children differ significantly from those of adults, ranging from comfort with the dentist to the developmental timeline of the smile. Seeing a specialist who is particularly attuned to those needs is valuable for your child’s oral health.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of bringing your child to a dental practice that specializes in pediatric patients, give us a call and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff members or visit our office for a tour.

Building The Foundation Of Good Oral Health In Childhood

When your child establishes consistently good dental habits in childhood, it serves as the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. These habits happen both at home and in the dentist’s office.

Pediatric Dentistry | Belterra Kids Teeth | Dripping Springs, TX

Beginning at your child’s first exam, our dentists will partner with you to foster good oral health habits that your child ideally will carry with them throughout the rest of their life. We will work with you to develop a plan for important aspects of an oral hygiene routine, such as:

  • Brushing techniques that are appropriate for the various developmental stages of childhood
  • Semi-annual exams and cleanings that are just as important for infants and toddlers as for their parents and older siblings
  • Supplemental interventions, such as fluoride treatments, that help support healthy tooth enamel
  • Prevention of cavities, which is the most common childhood disease and also one of the top reasons that children miss school

Additionally, we can answer any questions about your child’s dental health that you may have as a parent.

Meeting The Unique Dental Needs Of Children

The development of a child’s smile follows a specific timeline, but sometimes children deviate from the expected development. Your child’s dentist needs to be highly knowledgeable about the anticipated benchmarks so that any issues can be identified and addressed as soon as possible.

For example, defects in the alignment of the teeth or jaws can be detected fairly early, as soon as the first permanent teeth begin to erupt, around age 5 or 6. A pediatric dentist is well-equipped to diagnose these problems and recommend treatment to avoid more involved interventions at a later date.

Children also face a significant risk of tooth decay, and preventing cavities is a focus area of our work. We take a multi-faceted approach that incorporates home and professional care, along with nutritional guidance to achieve that goal.

Even the adult-sized dental equipment that is found in general dental practices may not be suitable for children and can feel overwhelming and scary to them. We have designed our space to make children feel welcome and comfortable.

Training Of Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric dentists develop their expertise in this field as a result of extensive training and daily practice in these techniques.

After completing dental school, pediatric dentists move on to a post-graduate residency specializing in pediatrics, during which they spend two years mastering the knowledge and techniques necessary to practice their craft.

Furthermore, because pediatric dentists work with this unique patient population day in and day out, they are constantly getting the opportunity to fine-tune their treatment techniques, such as lap-to-lap exams, and develop skills to reassure children who might be reluctant about getting dental care.

These are all compelling reasons to bring your child to a dental practice that specializes in treating pediatric patients.

Common Questions about Pediatric Dentistry

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

Children should have their first dental checkup no later than their first birthday, or six months after the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. Familiarizing your child with professional dental care at a young age offers many benefits. Children come to view such care as routine and ordinary, and their development can be tracked closely.

Are baby teeth that important to my child?

Parents may think that baby teeth are not important because they are only temporary placeholders for the permanent tooth, but this is simply incorrect. The baby teeth are expected to remain in place for many years until the permanent teeth are ready to erupt. If they are compromised and lost prematurely, it can trigger a cascade of effects that can interfere with the proper eruption and alignment of those permanent teeth.

How often does my child need to see the dentist?

Your child needs to see a dentist every six months, just like you do. These routine appointments will help to keep your child’s teeth as clean as possible with professional cleanings and allow the pediatric dentist to closely monitor the development of your child’s smile.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

If a child’s permanent tooth is dislodged, it must be addressed as soon as possible. Call our office to request the next available appointment for treatment. In the meantime, the tooth can be stored in a small container of tooth preservation media (or milk, in a pinch) and use a cold pack to manage any swelling. If there is bleeding at the site, you can apply pressure to the area using a clean piece of sterile gauze.