The old saying “prevention is better than cure” is especially true in dentistry. Visiting your pediatric dentist regularly can help prevent dental problems, such as tooth decay, from developing.
Pediatric dentists can also offer guidance in developing good oral hygiene habits and a healthy diet that supports solid teeth and gums, including limiting sugary foods and drinks.
Preventive care focuses on dental evaluations every six months and more minor, less-invasive treatments like fluoride application or sealants to prevent tooth decay. It doesn’t eliminate the need for fillings or other more involved treatments, but it does help to reduce the risk of more significant problems and save money in the long run.
In addition, St Johns pediatrics dentists have specialized training in caring for kids and teens with unique oral health needs, such as those often seen in underserved populations. For example, natal teeth (those present at birth) may require special care and can lead to severe problems if not treated early; some babies are born with tongue-tie, which can impact nutrition and speech; and children under age six are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay.
Pediatric dentistry can also guide how parents should care for their kids’ teeth and jaws as they grow, which helps to set the foundation for lifelong healthy habits. It can also help identify issues like excessive sugar consumption and guide growth and development in ways that will avoid or significantly reduce problems like overcrowding or crooked teeth.
Dental health education is essential to the pediatric dentist’s role, as it helps children develop good habits that will last a lifetime. The dentist can also address common childhood dental issues like thumb sucking, early tooth loss, or untreated cavities.
Children’s teeth differ significantly from adult teeth; pediatric dentists have specialized knowledge of baby teeth’ development and care. They also understand how to treat dental problems specific to children, such as a condition known as tongue-tie or the placement of a dental spacer when a baby tooth must be removed for permanent teeth to come in properly.
Because children’s teeth and mouths grow throughout their lives, they must receive consistent dental care. At St. John Pediatrics, they are trained to communicate with children using easy-to-understand terms and treatments to help children build healthy dental hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
Establishing consistent dental habits at an early age allows kids to develop good hygiene practices they will carry into adulthood. This can lower the risk of gum disease, infections, and other oral health concerns.
Additionally, pediatric dentists are trained to recognize specific oral health issues that can indicate more serious medical conditions like diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. These issues are more accessible to treat if caught and addressed quickly.
Pediatric dentists also have specialized training in treating kids with anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist. They can create a comfortable environment and use distraction or nitrous oxide techniques to help keep kids calm during treatment. This specialized care can have long-term benefits as children will be more likely to visit the dentist regularly when they are not afraid of the experience. This can decrease the risk of dental problems and even save on costly procedures.
Providing children with regular dental care is critical to maintaining healthy teeth. This includes a commitment to oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and using fluoride mouthwash. Pediatric dentists are skilled at communicating with kids to help them understand the importance of these practices.
Moreover, pediatric dentists will help children establish sound eating habits supporting the development of strong teeth and gums. They can offer valuable guidance on the importance of a balanced diet. They will recommend mouthguards for sports activities and address thumb-sucking and other habits that can negatively impact teeth growth and development.
In addition to promoting good oral health, pediatric dentists are trained to restore damaged or decayed teeth using fillings, crowns, and root canal therapy. Additionally, they can help children deal with dental anxiety by creating a positive and welcoming environment and utilizing techniques such as distraction and nitrous oxide.