Why You Need To Take Your Kids to a Pediatric Specific Dentist

You probably already know that going to the dentist every six months is crucial for good oral hygiene and should be part of your health care routine as an adult.

You might not know that your kid’s teeth and gums are different. They require more frequent care, ideally from a specifically trained dentist in kid’s dentistry.

Your Child’s First Teeth

Starting at around 6 months, or whenever your baby grows their first tooth is when you should schedule their first dental appointment. And unlike adults, it’s recommended that infants see a pediatric dentist each month to ensure everything is in order as their teeth develop.

In this article, we hope to educate you on the importance of early oral hygiene and why a proactive approach at a pediatric dentist’s office is necessary for your child’s oral health and overall health.

Why Seeing a Pediatric Dentist Is Important

Because baby teeth fall out, many parents don’t realize the importance of taking their child to a pediatric dentist when they are an infant.

Some parents wait until their child’s adult teeth come in for regular dental exams. This is a big mistake. It is crucial to start your child’s dental visits from the first tooth, or at the latest, by their first birthday.

Regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist are of utmost importance to the dental health of an infant. Neglecting to take your infant to a pediatric dentist early can lead to an undiagnosed and untreated infection that could spread and permanently damage enamel and weaken tooth structure.

A pediatric dentist can give specific insight into the growth and development of teeth from the time that the teeth manifest through the teen years.

Since children of different ages have different needs regarding their teeth, a pediatric dentist can observe the teeth more comprehensively than a regular dentist.

A pediatric dentist can solve a wide variety of problems, including, but not limited to:

  • Bottle-fed babies might develop bottle tooth decay if their parents fail to clean their teeth properly.
  • Thumb-sucking isn’t uncommon in children, but this can lead to poor oral health. Your pediatric dentist can advise on the best course of action to take to rid a child of the habit.
  • Some children develop a dangerous habit, i.e., teeth grinding. These children need professional care.
  • Most importantly, a pediatric dentist can advise parents on the dietary requirements of a baby’s teeth and how to incorporate these food items into a balanced diet. This part is vital for the healthy growth and development of a child’s teeth.

What Is A Pediatric Dentist and What are They Trained To Do?

Just like you take your newborn to a pediatric doctor, you want to take your child to a pediatric dentist. Experience and repetition are important in every industry– dentistry is no different.

It’s not that a regular dentist isn’t qualified to see your child. All dentists must undergo a 4-year undergraduate program (DMD or DDS), after which they become certified dentists. It’s the training that pediatric dentists receive after this qualification and then the repetition of treating children daily that makes them better suited to care for your child’s mouth.

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to treat children’s teeth and gums, which are surprisingly very different from adults. They are familiar with common dental problems in children and can help prevent tooth decay and identify potential dental issues early on.

The Right Dental Tools

Children have smaller mouths and teeth that require different dental tools than those used on adults. Kids dentists have the special tools to care for your child’s teeth and gums. Some general dentistry practices lack these tools.

At Snodgrass-King, we offer a variety of services for your kiddos. From basic check-ups, cleanings, and dental sealants, all the way up to braces and other cosmetic dentistry procedures they might need later in life.

That’s another neat thing about pediatric dentists… we also treat adults. In fact, many adults prefer going to a kid’s dentist, especially if they developed a fear of the dental chair early in life.

Pediatric Dentists Help Alleviate the Fear of Going to the Dentist

One way to keep your child from becoming an adult who fears the dentist is to ensure they have a positive experience from their first dental visit.

That is where our training really shines! Pediatric dentists don’t only have the unique training needed to care for your children’s teeth and gums; a pediatric dentist has the experience and training necessary to put children at ease.

Pediatric dentists differ from regular dentists because they understand what makes kids nervous and fearful. Our dentists, hygienists, and staff at Snodgrass-King know exactly how to approach treating kids to keep them calm, happy, and tantrum-free while seated in the dentist’s chair.

We make creating a kid-friendly space a top priority. So much so that we wouldn’t be surprised if your kids look forward to their next dental visit!

All children should feel good about visiting the dentist and learning how to care for their teeth. At Snodgrass-King, we make going to the dentist fun!

A Pediatric Dentist Can Save You Money

Typically, treatment costs at a pediatric dentist are similar to those at a regular dentist and sometimes even more affordable. But the real savings in taking your child to a dentist trained in pediatrics come long term.

By seeing a pediatric dentist, you are taking a proactive approach that will lessen the chance that your child will experience tooth decay that could lead to cavities or something more serious like gum disease.

It also helps lessen the chance they develop a fear of the dentist that could lead them to neglect their oral health later in life.

If you are looking for some other ways to keep dental costs down, here are a few tips:

  • Stay on top of regular checkups in the timeline advised by your dentist.
  • Practice good dental habits with your children at home, like brushing regularly and flossing.
  • Limit or stay away from sugary food and drinks.
  • Purchase affordable dental coverage.

Seeing a Pediatric Dentist Helps Your Child Have a Healthy Adult Smile

Kids who see a pediatric dentist are likelier to have healthy teeth than adults. That is primarily because children are easily influenced.

Taking a child to a pediatric dentist early in life will help develop positive oral health habits like brushing their teeth, regular flossing, and using mouth rinse. Once established, these healthy habits will be habitual and naturally continue into adulthood.

Poor oral hygiene is known to cause things like bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay, abscesses, cavities, infections in the mouth, tooth loss and poor self-esteem. Neglecting oral health can also create other health issues that have nothing to do with your child’s smile.

Research proves a direct relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Poor oral hygiene is believed to contribute to numerous illnesses, including gut issues, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Final Thoughts

Like adults, infants, children, and teens need regular oral care to ensure healthy gums, teeth, and overall health. The sooner your child starts getting regular dental checkups at a pediatric dentist, the healthier they will be!

Click here for a complete list of our pediatric services at Snodgrass-King.