Pediatric dentistry helps establish the beginning of a lifetime of dental care. It’s an important component to ensuring that your child’s oral health and smile will serve them far into the future.
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is the care that dentists provide for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. This begins when the child is a baby and continues throughout their teen years.
Why Is It Important?
Children need dental care early – within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday. Laying the foundation early for proper dental care can help your child avoid pain, complications and other dental issues that can affect her for years to come.
Many people mistakenly think that because they’ll be naturally lost anyway, baby teeth aren’t really that important. Although, baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, they can develop problems such as oral decay and disease that can affect your child’s secondary, permanent teeth. Unfortunately, childhood tooth decay is quite common.
In addition, even when your child is young, you can help establish good dental habits. Regular brushing and dental visits – as well as flossing when your child’s teeth start to fit closely together – will help start them on a lifetime of good dental care.
What Type of Treatment Does Pediatric Dentistry Include?
Pediatric dentistry may consist of the following treatments:
- Oral examination – to look for signs of tooth decay (dental caries), abnormal tooth alignment and other problems
- Dental cleaning – to remove plaque and tartar
- Diagnostic X-rays – if needed
- Fluoride application – brushed on or applied with a tray to help children at increased risk of tooth decay
- Dental sealant application – thin, plastic coatings that can be applied to protect the surface of teeth like molars
- Dental fillings – used to fill cavities
- Dental crowns – treats cracked or broken teeth
- Root canal – treats problems with the dental pulp, the soft tissue on the inside of the tooth
- Tooth extraction – can be used in circumstances when other treatments aren’t possible
Whenever possible, the least invasive treatments are used, and only when necessary are more invasive procedures like root canals are performed.
Symptoms That Warrant a Visit to Your Child’s Dentist
Pediatric dentistry, like adult dentistry, addresses preventative care in addition to treating problems.
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, pediatric dentistry care may be needed:
- Tooth pain
- Jaw pain or clicking
- Red, swollen gums
- Sensitivity or pain when chewing
- Bad breath
- A tooth that’s darker in color
If your child needs regular dental care or has a dental issue that needs attention, make an appointment today with Central Avenue Dental in Valley Stream, NY and NYC. We provide compassionate, personalized care for pediatric patients as well as those of all ages.