Children should practice good dental care as much as adults. That’s why there are health professionals who dedicate their profession in promoting oral health from infancy to teen years. They are called, pediatric dentist. What exactly are the roles of pediatric dentists? Well, they qualify and experience taking care of your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
As parents, you know that your child starts teething at an early age of 6 months and lose them at the age of 6 or 7 years old. After losing their temporary teeth, they are replaced with the permanent teeth or what is commonly known as adult teeth. If pediatric dentists are not around, our children would face possible tooth decay that will cause them pain and discomfort.
Currently, dental caries poses threat to more children than asthma or hay fever. Here are the common types of dental issues that need the attention of your pediatric dentist.
Cavities and Late Dental Visits
Cavities top the list of dental issues for kids but surprisingly the most preventable too. Yes, you read that right it is preventable. So how did it become so rampant? Well, first of all parents doesn’t seem to put importance on taking care of the baby teeth. Probably, we all have that notion that it’s just going to fall out anyway, so why bother. Here is something that they don’t realize.
Cavities work like ripple effect. Baby teeth do not come out altogether. At 6-7 months, only a few come out and it will continue showing while the baby is also growing. At the most, the baby teeth are complete around 3-4 years old. This is also true when these baby teeth start falling off. Our kids don’t have permanent teeth at once. So for example, when parents don’t give proper attention to dental care when a child is 3 or 4 years old, the baby teeth wills start to have cavities. Since cavities can spread, it’s possible that it will infect the first set of permanent teeth of the child.
Another reason why cavities are widespread is that, few parents bring their children to a pediatric dentist at an early age. The earliest time that parents need to see a pediatric dentist is when the first baby teeth start showing. If child dentists start seeing the child early, parents can be educated on proper brushing, home care, diet, and anything relevant to prevent cavities.
Remember, cavities on children are hard to repair. Often times, the child needs sedation and or surgery, which can be costly and time consuming.
Cavities live on chocolates and lollipops and candies that your child consumes. If your child won’t last a day without sweets, then cavities aren’t far behind. These are obvious cavity feeders but more importantly, parents should also take note of food containing high amounts of refined carbohydrates. These are commonly found in crackers, baked treats, and even juices. These elements can actually stay and stick on the tooth structure, which cavities thrive on.
Also, anything that contains acid must be consumed in lesser amounts. Acid makes teeth vulnerable as they damage the teeth enamel. Parents should keep it simple. When their kids are thirsty, give them water.
Brushing and Flossing
Because kids are kids, parents should be responsible on the kid’s brushing and flossing. Children under 7 years old do not have the motor skills to thoroughly clean their teeth. It is a struggle especially for parents with toddlers since this age group wants to be independent. But it will also be a reward if your child ends up not having cavities.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
School age kids are prone to chipped tooth especially boys or girls who are into sports and physical activities. If this happens, parents need to bring their kids to a pediatric dentist right away to determine whether the chipped tooth is a permanent or a baby tooth. The pediatric dentist will not repair a chipped baby tooth because it will eventually fall off. However, if it’s a permanent tooth that is fractured, the tooth needs to be filled or bonded.
Pediatric Dentist, Our Ally and Friend
Children’s oral hygiene is as important as adults. But children may not be as patient as adults when visiting the dental clinic. Pediatric dentists are trained to treat and examine children in a way that makes them comfortable and unafraid.
Remember, bringing your child to a pediatric dentist early on is better than starting late. Kids will always be kids and prevention is always better than cure.