Pediatric dentistry is a field of dentistry concerned with the health and development of children's teeth. Pediatric dentists treat kids of all ages, from babies who have just gotten their first tooth to teenagers who need their wisdom teeth removed. Here are four things that a pediatric dentist can do:
1. Help parents care for their baby's teeth.
Many parents don't begin to think of taking their child to the dentist until they have a full set of teeth. However, proper dental care should start as soon as your baby's first tooth emerges. At this age, a pediatric dentist's focus is on the parents. Your child's dentist will give you tips you can use to keep your baby's teeth healthy. You'll learn how to soothe the pain caused by teething. Your dentist may also suggest that you put your baby to bed without a bottle or pacifier, which may cause babies' teeth to grow crooked.
2. Provide fluoride treatments.
Kids are still developing, both mentally and physically. While it's important to teach your kids to brush and floss their teeth regularly, children can be forgetful. Preventative treatments can help you safeguard your kids' teeth, even if they're sometimes lax in their self-care. A pediatric dentist can provide fluoride treatments for kids. Fluoride binds to the enamel of your child's teeth, hardening and strengthening it, which makes it more resistant to cavities. Your child's dentist will apply a fluoride treatment to your child's teeth at the end of every routine dental exam.
3. Treat cavities.
Teeth develop cavities when their enamel is attacked by bacteria and plaque. Cavities may be painful, but sometimes they are asymptomatic. Still, it's important that cavities are treated right away to prevent them from worsening. Your child's dentist will diagnose cavities using x-rays. If cavities are found, they will be drilled away and filled with dental amalgam or composite resin. Cavity treatment is important even for kids who still have their baby teeth. Your child's dentist will administer local anesthesia before the procedure, so your child will not feel any pain.
4. Ease children's fears.
Even adults are sometimes scared of the dentist, but children's fears can be much more intense. Pediatric dentists are used to working with young patients. They have the skill and patience needed to ease your child's fears. A children's dentist will make your child as comfortable as possible during their dental appointment.
For more information about visiting a pediatric dentist, contact a local dental office.