From the moment your child’s first tooth springs up, a regular dental check-up is vital to ensure he has good oral hygiene. Research shows that 83% of children between 2 and 17 saw a dentist last year, while 17% of children between 5 and 19 have untreated dental caries. Good oral care is a responsibility that comes with parenting. Your child’s teeth are more susceptible to cavities and fractures compared to yours. That’s why experts recommend that you take your child for a check-up at least twice every year.
If you let your child experience pain first before taking him to a Memphis pediatric dentist, it’ll be harder to convince him to let another person look at his teeth. Children can be troublesome when they’re in a dental chair. Their fear of feeling more pain can make them doubt the dentist’s ability to relieve them of pain. The scary sounds and odd-looking tools they see in most dental offices also add to their fear.
This is why you need to find a pediatric dentist to treat your child. Though there are certified dentists, they have additional training on how to deal with children. They also know how to handle children with autism. This article discusses everything you need to know about these dentists.
Who’s A Paediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist is a trained, oral healthcare medical professional. Like other general dentists, they complete four years in dental school. However, they continue their education for another two or three years to study how to deal with child dental issues. During this period, they also learn about child psychology and how to interact with kids to make them feel more comfortable.
These dentists’ range of services includes cavity fillings, cleaning and exams, fluoride treatment, orthodontic procedures, emergency dental care, and gum diseases treatment. Pediatric dentists also educate parents and patients on all hygiene. Apart from that, they also help their young patients to understand the importance of their treatment and encourage them to continue with healthy oral hygiene habits at home.
Although these dentists can treat patients of any age, they focus on children under 18. However, if they have special needs patients, they may continue to treat them until adulthood because such patients need a dentist who’s familiar with their medical history. The focus of pediatric dentists on treating children gives them more experience interacting with kids than general dentists.
When Kids Should Go For Their First Dentist Visit
Many parents don’t know when to take their children to the first dentist visit. However, most professional dentists say there’s no young age for taking your child to a dentist, though the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry says that the right time is when they’re one year old.
Baby teeth are essential because they help the children chew food, speak, and pave the way for permanent teeth. However, they can be prone to tooth decay, which may lead to an infection that may cause them pain and prevent them from eating healthy foods. The good news is that you can avoid all these problems when you take your child to a dentist early enough.
Taking your kid to the dentist at one year old can also save you from losing a lot of money. Research by AAPD indicates that children who visited dentists in their first year reduced dental costs by 40% within the first five years because they needed fewer dental and medical procedures. Once your child has visited the dentist the first time, you need to take him for a check-up after every six months, though this depends on their needs.
Factors To Consider When Selecting A Pediatric Dentist
Finding a pediatric dentist who can help your kid have a beautiful and healthy smile is crucial. That dentist will interact with your child to know their history and support their health as they grow. Therefore, it’s vital to find one who can make your child comfortable and respected. If your child is used to the dentist and recognizes the value of good oral health, he’ll look forward to more dental visits.
Here are some qualities you need to look for in a pediatric dentist:
1. Professional Experience
The first thing you need to consider in a pediatric dentist is his education and service length. Ensure that he has completed dental school and is a licensed and certified pediatric dentist. His training should also include pediatric dentistry. This training is received at a dental school and equips dentists with skills to manage child behavior.
It would be best if you also considered whether he’s a member of the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA). Dentists in these groups are well informed about the latest advancements and news in dentistry that helps them give more efficient treatment.
You also need to know the number of years they’ve been practicing dentistry. Though a dentist who’s recently graduated can get the job done, it’s best to find one who’s taken more years in the field and practices with other experienced dentists. These are the ones who may have real-world experience in handling children.
Your child’s dentist and his staff should have an environment that’s welcoming, filled with positivity, and soothing. The dentist needs to train his staff members on handling nervous children and treating them with kindness, patience, and empathy.
An intimidating dentist can increase your child’s fear and make treatment difficult. Before finally settling in the best dentist, book an appointment with some of them with your child, and monitor how comfortable your kid is around them. If they’re more comfortable, that’s the right choice. However, if they’re nervous around them, go for another one.
A considerable number of children hate going to the dentist because of fear. A recent study found out that 42% of children between 10-14 years have dental anxiety. To combat this fear, you need a dentist who’s relatable, friendly, and understanding. Good paediatric dentists learn children’s unique fears and explain the medical procedures they’re performing on the children using simple words before starting the treatment. This way, the young patient gets to know the exact thing to expect.
The right dentist should also pique the child’s interest as they attend to them. Your role as a parent should be to get a dentist who’ll make your child comfortable enough to make them visit again in the future.
To establish a positive experience, your child’s dentist should make an excellent first impression. Such a dentist should praise cooperative behavior and be gentle. This way, your child will feel more comfortable to cope with anxiety and the new experience they may encounter. After some time, they may even find out that visiting the dentist isn’t a scary experience after all.
A pediatric dentist’s job should also address patients’ concerns and questions when they arise. The right dentist should be excited about sharing useful information and educating patients and parents concerning oral hygiene and how to develop healthy habits. They should tell you more about your kids’ tooth development and ways of preventing diseases.
The right pediatric dentist should give you a comfortable environment of asking questions and respectfully and honestly answer each one of them. They should also show you that they have your child’s care and wellbeing at heart. To know how your dentist will help your child, you need to ask as many questions as possible.
It would help if you chose a pediatric dentist who’s near your home or child’s school. He or she also needs to have specific office hours and a flexible schedule. This will make booking appointments as easy as possible and minimize your stress levels.
To find the best dentist for your child, you need to know more about pediatric dentistry. If you know who they are, what they do, and what to look at before selecting one, you may land on the best one.