Pediatric dentistry is a dental practice that deals primarily with children from birth through their early teen years, or adolescence. This type of dentistry is considered to be a specialty, so it requires that a dentist take an additional two to three years of additional dental studies after completing a degree for general dentistry.
There are some pediatric dentists who also have additional training in the specialty of caring for children with special needs, such as autistic children, children with differing levels of mental retardation, and those with cerebral palsy.
One of great importance when dealing with children’s dentistry is that of child psychology. A pediatric dentist is trained to make the dentist’s office a fun place to be, and to make it a social occasion that is inviting and friendly to the children. Negative dental attitudes and phobias that begin in childhood often carry forward into adulthood, so the importance of creating positive attitudes toward dentistry when the children are young is readily apparent.
What Are The Duties of a Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry get children started out on the right foot in regard to helping them to understand the importance of caring for their teeth, and understanding oral and overall dental hygiene. The importance of good care and maintenance of the baby teeth forms the good habits that carry over to when the permanent teeth come in and must be cared for in the same manner for the rest of the person’s lifetime. Education and care in these formative years also sets the pattern for proper chewing habits, good speech habits and the brushing and flossing habits that are necessary for later dental maintenance.
Other important functions of Pediatric Dentistry include:
Education – the child is educated with models, stories, computer technology and good habit building. The parents are also educated disease prevention, good eating habits and other good dental hygiene maintenance.
The Monitoring of Growth – By keeping track of the child’s growth of the teeth, future dental issues can be anticipated and future problems can be eliminated. Earlier intervention and the resolving of issues can do much in the way of preserving the self-esteem of the child, as well as the teeth of the child.
Prevention of Problems – Sound eating, brushing and flossing habits are important to form in the correct manner when the child is young, thus tooth decay and gum diseases can be avoided. Regular checkups and teeth cleanings will be able to stave these types of problems off for a long time, if not forever by staying with the program of proactive prevention, instead of waiting until there is a problem that has to be taken care of at the last minute.