The Importance Of Pediatric Dentistry

It is important to teach good dental habits from a young age. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children should visit the dentist six months after the eruption of their first tooth or at the latest by the time they are one year old. The reason for this is so that children start to receive dental care soon after their first tooth develops.

This recommendation is based on the fact that regular dental check-ups promote good oral health habits and help children learn how to properly care for their teeth and it is important to teach that as early as possible.

For at least the following reasons, Dr. Ghanavati supports the ADA recommendation that children visit a dentist within six months after the baby’s first tooth, but no later than the child’s first birthday:

  • Comfort and Confidence. Do not wait until your child has a dental emergency before you take your him or her to the dentist for the first time. Waiting until urgent treatment must be given may result in a lifetime of anxiety regarding dental care. Allow your child to have a positive impression of visiting the dentist.
  • Diet. Your dentist could coach you on how your baby’s diet could affect his or her oral health. Milk, especially when putting your child to sleep, can be very dangerous regarding the formation of cavities. Dentists sometimes refer to this as “bottle rot” or “baby bottle tooth decay”.
  • Oral Health Care Product Advice. Your dentist is a valuable resource and can recommend oral healthcare products that can help keep your baby’s mouth as healthy as possible during the critical time period when teeth are developing and erupting.
  • Dental Home. Similar to a well-baby checkup, establishing a dental home for your child is important for your family. Early visits allow your dentist to get to know your child’s specific needs.
  • Tooth Decay. One of the most obvious reasons for having your baby’s teeth checked by a dentist is to make sure your child’s teeth are free of decay.

How We Can Help You

In addition to teaching good oral health habits, there is another reason early visits are encouraged. A child’s mouth can change very quickly as new teeth grow in, which means it’s important to keep track of the changes and catch any potential issues early. Because a child’s teeth are still growing, it’s even more important for them to receive regular check-ups than it is for adults. Regular check-ups are the only way to detect any potential problems.

These problems can include teeth that are not growing in properly, decay, or the need for orthodontics. Early visits to the dentist can also identify problems in the development of facial structures including the jaw and palate. The earlier these potential issues are detected, the earlier they can be addressed.

Parents in Burke, Virginia and the surrounding area can be assured that the team at Burke Dental gives extra-special care to our littlest patients. We know that dental visits can be scary for children and Dr. Ghanavati and his team do their best to offer a cheerful environment and to make the experience as enjoyable and non-threatening as possible. Click here to learn about our general dentistry options.

All About Pediatric Dentistry

Typical dentistry is about fixing problems and offering solutions to issues like tooth loss or damage. Generally, adult patients already have all their teeth and have already learned and developed good oral health habits. This is one of the main differences between regular and pediatric dentistry. With pediatric dentistry, the teeth and jaws are still developing and the patients are still learning good oral health habits, which is why regular dental check-ups are so important. The following are just some of the benefits and responsibilities of pediatric dentistry.

  • Teach Good Oral Health. This is one of the most important aspects of pediatric dentistry. Regular trips to the dentist help teach kids how to properly care for their teeth. This includes learning the importance of brushing teeth and washing the mouth. Children who learn good oral health habits early have a better chance of having healthier teeth later in life.
  • Monitor Growth. As a child’s first teeth come in, their mouths will grow and change. More change will happen once these teeth begin to fall out and the permanent teeth start to come in. Regular dental check-ups allow the dentist to monitor the changes and make sure everything is growing in the way it should.
  • Catch Problems Early. If there are any issues, such as decay, improper growth, or the need for orthodontics, it is important to catch them early. The earlier an issue is discovered, the earlier it can be treated and that can prevent further complications down the road.

Pediatric dentistry is all about prevention and early detection, as well as teaching good oral habits. The early years are when key tooth development happens and things can change very quickly in a child’s mouth, which is why regular check-ups are so important.

Types of Pediatric Dentistry

Like regular dentistry, there are different types of pediatric dentistry depending on the situation and the type of care needed. Pediatric dentistry can be divided into four categories: Preventative, Restorative, Orthodontic and Emergency care.

  • Preventative Dentistry is the main type of pediatric dentistry. This includes regular check-ups and teaching good oral health habits. Preventative dentistry is meant to teach good oral care to prevent cavities and gum disease, as well as schedule regular check-ups so that any potential problems are caught early.
  • Restorative Dentistry refers to procedures that are meant to keep teeth healthy and prevent the spread of infection or damage. Baby teeth do not have to last as long as permanent teeth, but they do need to last several years. Removing a tooth too early can cause long-term issues, so it is important to keep the baby teeth as healthy as possible and this can include preventive methods such as fillings or even root canals. It is important to understand that baby teeth sort of straddle adult teeth as the adult teeth develop. This brings attention to the importance of keeping baby teeth free of decay, as the bacteria that infect baby teeth could damage adult teeth as they are developing–even before they fully erupt.
  • Orthodontic Dentistry is most common in adolescents. Orthodontic services include making sure that teeth are in the right position, fixing problems with the jaw and palate, and dealing with teeth that are not growing in properly. As the teeth and jaw are developing, potential issues can crop up and, if left untreated, they can cause long term issues and discomfort, so it may be recommended that certain orthodontic issues are treated while the teeth are still forming.
  • Emergency Dentistry deals with the unexpected problems. Children live active lives and sometimes accidents happen. If a tooth gets knocked out or if severe swelling or bruising occurs, it is important to see the dentist right away. Damage to the roots of the baby teeth can impact the undeveloped adult teeth, so if a tooth has been damaged, our team may recommend extracting it to prevent infection of the adult teeth or we may recommend a root canal to salvage it. Either way, in cases of unexpected tooth damage, it is important to make an immediate appointment.

The Basics

A pediatric check-up is very similar to an adult one. The patient’s teeth will be cleaned and dental x-rays may be administered if needed. With pediatric dentistry, x-rays are particularly helpful because children’s teeth change so quickly and x-rays allow our team to track the changes and hopefully note anything concerning. We will also instruct our young patients on good healthcare techniques and make sure they are brushing their teeth regularly. If everything is normal, the patient will be sent home once an appointment has been booked for the next check-up. Parents are also coached because we understand that our young family members don’t always clean their teeth quite as diligently as we might hope, making parental supervision important.

If our team has found something concerning, then we will address our concerns with the parent or guardian. The next step may be more x-rays or we may recommend routine treatment such as sealants to help prevent cavities or fillings if cavities are discovered. If orthodontics are required, someone from our team will sit down and discuss options and our recommendations before going forward with another appointment.

Contact Our Pediatric Dentist Office In Burke Today!

Regular check-ups and good dental health are important for everyone, but it is especially critical for children. The time when jawbones are growing and teeth are coming in is the time when serious dental issues can crop up and it is important to catch those issues early. In particular, when it comes to orthodontia, there is an optimal time frame to help minimize side effects and bad habits. It is also important to teach children that they need to take care of their teeth and the best strategies on how to do that, one such strategy including regular visits to the dentist.

A lot of adult dentistry is about preventing damage and coming up with options to deal with tooth loss or damage. As a person’s teeth get older, they get more damaged and it is important to minimize that damage. With pediatric dentistry, the teeth in question are still young, which means the areas of concern are different. When dealing with children and pediatric dentistry, Burke Dental finds creative ways of encouraging healthy growth.

Patients in Burke, Virginia can trust that their child will get the very best care with Burke Dental. With pediatric dentistry, regular check-ups are so important and appointments can be booked online or by calling our office at (703) 940-9410.