It is an overlooked fact that oral healthcare is an extremely important window into total body healthcare. A healthy mouth can help maintain a holistically healthy body, and this mindset should begin as soon as possible. Pediatric dentistry is an essential care option for children as soon as their teeth begin coming in. This can begin as early as birth but often happens from 6 months to a year old.
Dental experts agree that oral care for children should begin as soon as they get their first “milk teeth”. Setting a precedent for proper oral healthcare early will help establish good habits and a healthy baseline going forward.
Pediatric dentists are doctors who specialize in oral healthcare for children from infants to teenagers. This time is essential in establishing healthy habits and good oral care. Pediatric dentists provide healthcare for children’s teeth, gums, jaw, and other supporting issues in and around the mouth. Pediatric dentists will also take x-rays that can help establish a care plan for adolescence and beyond. Poor oral health as a child can lead to a lifetime of health issues in the mouth and in the entire body.
What Training Do Pediatric Dentists Have?
Pediatric dentists have at least as much training as adult dentists and often have a specialty that requires additional training or certifications. All board-certified dentists have an undergraduate degree, plus (generally) four years of dental school. In addition, pediatric dentists have residency requirements where they specialize in oral health for infants, adolescents, and teens.
Most states have certification requirements that demand dentists continue their education on an annual basis to maintain certification. This could include training in new methodologies, technologies, or similar important information. State dental boards also require that pediatric dentists maintain a certain level of care and no not have “strikes” for patient or employee complaints against them.
Pediatric dentists often work hand in hand with orthodontists on a care plan for children going into “braces age” (10-15yrs old). This could include x rays, bone density tests, and implant screening. This means pediatric dentists need to have knowledge about orthodontic care as well.
What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?
Pediatric dentists are generally capable of providing all types of oral care for children from infancy to young adulthood. This can include but is not limited to the following:
- Infant oral health screenings and family histories, which include risk markers and care plans for children and siblings
- Preventative dental care and practice including fluoride, cleanings, floss, and proper brush technique
- Counseling on proper pediatric habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use
- Tooth repair, including defects, chips, impact injuries, and fillings
- Diagnosis of health conditions that can potentially originate from oral health care, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even ADDHD
- Management and care for gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis
Finding The Right Pediatric Dentist For Your Family’s Needs
Finding the right dental care for your family is just as important as finding the right primary care. Setting your kids up for a future of good oral health is extremely important in giving them a head start on a healthy lifestyle. When searching for the right pediatric dentist it is important to consider several factors.
Location is an important thing to consider when choosing a pediatric dentist. In most major metropolitan areas, there will be several viable options, so it is important to think about how far you are willing to travel to find the best care possible.
Reputation in the community is an essential factor when choosing a pediatric dentist. While there are surely great doctors who have only been practicing a short time, someone with several years of history in the community is never a bad option. Google reviews, as well as other online review sources, are great places to see what kind of experience patients have had.
What type of care a pediatric dentist specializes in is an important factor to consider when choosing a provider. If your children have special dental needs such as implants, fractures, or cosmetic care, you may need to find a provider who specializes in those things.
Cost is always a factor in deciding a care plan. Some insurers will offer dental care for children, so it is important to check with providers to find a list of local pediatric dentists that are recommended.
At the end of the day, parents must make the decision on what is best for their children. All of the factors above sure weigh in, but there can be many other things that come into play. As long as you are happy with the level of care provided, that is all that matters.
How Gardens Family Dentistry Can Help
Gardens Family Dentistry is a highly regarded family dental practice offering state-of-the-art care in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. Our expert, board-certified dentist, Dr. Dalia Al-Azzawi, leads a practice that puts patients first and will always leave you with a smile. We are constantly evolving to offer the latest in dental technology and care while maintaining affordability and professionalism.
We are committed to working with our patients to provide a custom plan for every member of your family-from big to small. We love seeing the transformations of our customers and take great pride in serving families in Palm Beach County from generation to generation. Contact us today to see how we can put a smile on your family’s faces!