Most people realize that when their adult teeth come in, they will not be getting any more teeth. They know that these teeth will have to last them a lifetime and since they can come in when a child is between 6 and 13 years old, that could mean they need to last 70, 80 or more years. Because of this, most adults take good care of their teeth. They do not need to be that one in four persons over the age of 74 that has lost all of their teeth.

Because of the need to make teeth last a long time, it is normal to brush and floss teeth regularly and to see a dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. What most adults do not realize is that taking their children to the same dentist they go it is not a good idea. A pediatric dentist is a much better option to maintain the health of the child’s teeth.

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist has attended four years of dental school. They will also have completed an additional two years of training for infants, children, teenagers and children with special needs. This training will not only teach them the needs of this age group, it will also help teach them how to work with kids.

A pediatric dentist will perform many of the same functions of a general dentist. The duties they will do include:

  • Infant oral exams

  • Preventative care

  • Working on childhood habits such as using a pacifier or thumb-sucking

  • Assessment of orthodontic needs

  • Cavity repair

  • Gum disease management

  • Care for injuries to the teeth

What makes a good pediatric dentist?

Not every dentist is made for pediatric dentistry. Kids and infants can present special challenges for the dentist. They are often fearful of going to the dentist and are not always happy when parents tell them it is time to go. Infants may not be able to talk and that makes it harder for a dentist to find out about potential problems.

A good pediatric dentist will know how to deal with the special issues involving children. They need to make sure the office they treat their patients in is inviting and friendly. It needs to be warm and cozy so that the children can be comfortable.

The demeanor of the dentist is also very important. They need to have more patience when dealing with children. They cannot expect a child to be able to control their emotions in the same way that an adult can.

Most importantly a pediatric dentist needs to be a good teacher. They need to be able to help a child learn the good oral hygiene practices that will help them keep a healthy set of teeth later on. When a person finds a good pediatric dentist, they will find that their children want to see the dentist instead of dreading the visit.

If a person really wants their teeth to last a lifetime, they need to learn how to care for them at an early age. That is best accomplished when a pediatric dentist is involved. The habits that are formed at a very young age can help a person maintain the health of the teeth until a much older age. It is something every parent needs to provide for their children.