What Does Pediatric Dentistry Entail?
The state of an individual’s dental health is determined by the care given since the first set of teeth erupted above the gum line. The first set of teeth in a child erupt at about six to twelve months of age and these teeth are called the milk teeth. The milk teeth help in the proper grinding of food for digestion and the development of the jawbone in kids. At about age six to seven, the milk teeth are replaced by another set of teeth known as permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are meant to serve an individual throughout a lifetime because there is no natural replacement for them. The care of the milk teeth till the transition to permanent teeth is very important and it requires special dental care. Fortunately, dentistry makes provision for the care of the dental health of kids through a branch called pediatric dentistry.
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that aims to manage, improve, and care for the dental health of infants, children, and adolescents under the age of eighteen or twenty-one as the case may be. A pediatric dentist is a highly trained dental professional that guides kids through their dental formative years and provides dental care for them. A pediatric dentist is a specialist and had undergone about six years of special training to meet the dental needs of children.
What Does Pediatric Dentistry Do?
Pediatric dentistry helps to provide examine the teeth, diagnose and treat dental issues in children. Pediatric dentists also give professional advice on healthy oral hygiene habits for kids and precautions to take. Common dental health problems in kids that pediatric dentistry proffers solutions to include:
- Tooth Decay. Tooth decay is a common dental health issue that cuts across all ages. However, tooth decay in children tends to be more severe because of their diet and oral hygiene. Tooth decay is mostly caused by dental plaques which are formed as a combination of saliva, bacteria, and sugary/starchy food remnants. The love of children for sugary and starchy foods will help dental plaques thrive. Proper brushing and flossing can help rid the teeth of dental plaques. However, most children cannot brush or floss properly without the supervision of an adult. A pediatric dentist near you can help to prevent and treat tooth decay in your kids.
- Thumb-sucking. Thumb-sucking is a common childhood behavior and might be nothing much to worry about except your child continues past the age of five. Thumb-sucking can hurt the oral health of a child when excessive or overdue. It can disrupt normal oral development and affect the teeth’ alignment and the roof of the mouth depending on the intensity of the sucking. Thumb-sucking can also cause children to develop oral and speech problems. You can consult a pediatric dentist in Lincoln, NE for professional advice on breaking this habit.
- Tooth Sensitivity. A child’s tooth enamel is thinner and more vulnerable than that of an adult. This makes it easily worn down by plaques and acid. The wearing away of a tooth’s enamel can cause the gums to recede and cause cracks that expose nerve endings on the tooth surface. This can cause pain when the child eats or drinks something hot or cold. Pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE, can help to treat tooth sensitivity in kids professionally.
- Gum Disease. The buildup of dental plaques and poor oral hygiene can cause the inflammation of the gum tissues and other gum diseases (periodontitis, gingivitis). This can cause the gums of a kid to swell up and become red. The gum also recedes and bleeds easily. Dr. Brion Dalton can help in preventing and treating gum diseases in children.
- Teeth Grinding. Teeth grinding also known as Bruxism is the habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth. Most kids develop this habit because their upper teeth are not aligned with their lower teeth. Teeth grinding can also be associated with stress and restlessness in kids. Teeth grinding can wear down the teeth and harm a kid’s dental health.
In addition, pediatric dentistry also covers dental emergencies in kids. An emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE, can help to attend to your child’s need for emergency dental care.
Importance Of Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry helps to ensure the safety of your kid’s dental health by fighting tooth decay. It also helps in detecting cavities early enough to treat them, and providing protection against all dental diseases.
Finally, pediatric dentists help to give professional advice about your kid’s dental health.