A pediatric dentist uses a variety of tools to evaluate the teeth of a child. One of these assessments is the use of x-ray images. Parents often ask about the role of x-rays in the field of pediatric dentistry, including what types of x-rays are used and what procedure is followed to obtain the images. When…
Most Common Types of Pediatric Dental Visits
First, let us make sure we are on the same page regarding the term pediatric. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "Pediatrics" can be subdivided into further categories. For the scope of this article, we will define them here:
*note that pediatric dentists see patients until 18 years
- Newborn: Birth – 1 month
- Infant: 1 month – 2 years
- Child: 2 years – 12 years
- Adolescent: 12 years to 21 years
So, a pediatric dentist is one that sees patients between the age of 6 months, about when the first baby tooth comes in, and 18 years.
What makes a pediatric dental visit different?
Pediatric dentistry is a specialty that requires extra training. A pediatric dentist attends 4 years of dental school followed by a 2-year pediatric dental residency program. During this extra training, they learn techniques specialized to the different age groups listed above as well as how to use specialized equipment.
Types of visits
Once you have either made the appointment or received a referral from another dentist, here are common reasons for a pediatric dental visit.
Everybody has to start somewhere, and a pediatric dental visit is the best place for your infant to start receiving regular checkups. These visits are great for parents too because the dentist will help teach you the best way to care for your child's teeth.
Preventative care is similar to an adult dental visit and involves cleaning and X-rays to check for cavities.
Speaking of cavities, your child's dentist will also be able to make repairs. They are specially trained to examine children and infants in ways unique to their needs.
Unfortunately, injuries are common in growing children. Injuries to the jaw and teeth are no exception. A pediatric dentist can repair this damage and provide treatment to help the mouth heal properly. Additionally, if your child participates in sports activities, a pediatric dentist can also custom make mouthguards for their sport.
Some infants and children ween from thumb sucking later than they should. Pediatric dentists are also trained in habit counseling to help overcome this issue. Typically thumb and pacifier sucking is healthy and normal until about the age of 3.
Your child's dentist will probably be the first dental specialist that will be in a position to assess the future orthodontic needs of your child. They are trained to spot this and can help recommend a plan of action.
Where can I find pediatric dental services?
Dental specialties are becoming more common as more specialized training programs open. You can check with your regular adult dentist, search online, or even ask friends with children. Just like adults, our children need strong oral hygiene habits as well as regular dental appointments to keep a healthy smile.
If you need help finding a pediatric dentist, please call us or send an email to our staff. We can discuss your child’s needs and recommend appropriate care.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentist.
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