Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentistry involves dentistry services designed for children. Though this is typically associated only with younger children, the American Academy of Pediatrics defines “pediatric” as ages zero to twenty-one. Pediatric dentistry is critical to maintaining good oral health and development among children and young adults. Our dentists at Sierra Kids Dentistry can give you more information on pediatric dental care and our services.
The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentists perform many of the same duties as regular dentists do. However, there is special training required to be one of our pediatric dentists. This includes four years of medical school with an additional two years in a residency training. The residency training also provides experience with children of all ages as well as children with special needs.
Pediatric dentistry is crucial for ensuring proper development and treating any injuries or illnesses children may have. In addition, the way a dentist interacts with an adult is much different than the way they must interact with children. Our pediatric dentists are trained to know the proper communication methods with children so that they remain calm throughout the procedure.
Our pediatric dentistry services are recommended as soon as your child has their first tooth come out (erupt). You should schedule your baby’s first routine dental appointment within six months of their first tooth erupting, but before their first birthday. Initially, this includes general exams and some light cleaning. As your child gets older, these cleanings become more thorough. We will also provide x-rays and other diagnostic services to ensure that your child’s teeth develop properly. Many children also get their wisdom teeth removed as a precaution when they get older.
In addition to these routine care services, pediatric dentistry also includes treatment for various diseases and injuries. For example, some of these procedures include dental extraction, fillings, and braces. We also provide needed dental equipment, such as mouthguards.
At Home Care
There are also specific ways to take care of your child’s teeth at home. Even with infants, it is important to keep their mouth clean and free of bacteria. Though they do not have teeth, you would still need to wipe their mouth gently with a moist washcloth to ensure any food or drink residue has been removed. These substances can cause infection and other health issues if left to sit on the gums.
Your child’s baby teeth will start to come out at around six months old. At this time, you should use a toothbrush specially designed for infants to clean their teeth. These toothbrushes are small and have soft bristles that do not aggravate the gums. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste twice daily on your baby’s teeth. At this time, you would need a dab of toothpaste that is the size of a grain of rice.
As your child gets older, you can start letting them brush their own teeth. However, you will need to watch them to make sure they clean every tooth. Babies and children should also have their teeth flossed when there are two side by side. For more information on dental hygiene for children or available pediatric dentistry services, call Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.