What is A Pediatric Dentist?
A Pediatric dentist is someone who specializes in the oral health of children. Our Vancouver Pediatric dentists are dedicated professionals who work with kids from infancy through adolescence to ensure the healthy teeth, gums, and mouth of your child. Our Vancouver Pediatric dentists have advanced training and qualifications that allow them to assess and treat oral conditions throughout the various stages of childhood.
Teeth usually emerge in children during the first 6 months of life; and by age 6 or 7, kids lose their first set of teeth which are eventually replaced by permanent, adult teeth. Though many parents believe that caring for secondary teeth is more important than caring for primary teeth, there are many consequences to improper dental care during the first 6 years of life. Some “baby” teeth, as we often call them, will be in your child’s mouth until age 12. As such, even broken or damaged primary teeth can have a significant impact on your child’s overall health.
Pediatric dentists are usually required to complete 4 years of dental school followed by two additional years of advanced training in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs. Moreover, pediatric dentists in Canada must hold a specialty designation from a Provincial Dental Regulatory Authority. The field is focused on providing primary care as well as thorough preventative and therapeutic diagnosis, care, and consultations.
How Our Vancouver Pediatric Dentists Can Assist Your Child With Oral Care
Some examples of care provided by our Vancouver pediatric dentists include:
- Infant oral health exams including risk assessment to prevent oral health problems.
- Fluoride treatments and diet and nutrition recommendations as part of a program of preventative dental care.
- Counseling on pacifier use and thumb sucking.
- Early assessments on bite and teeth position.
- Fillings and tooth defect repair.
- Oral health diagnosis, for example diagnosing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hay fever.
- Oral health management and treatment of gum disease and other oral conditions.
- Treatment of dental injuries.
Our Pediatric dentists not only care for your child’s oral health, but they have special skills with respect to how to deal with children. Kids are not just small adults, they have different emotional needs, and they often require added patience and understanding. Our Pediatric dentists not only know how to care for your children’s teeth, but also how to care for your child.
Even though your child’s teeth are not permanent, it is important s/he has regular dental checkups. Regular visits to the dentist help to teach your child important oral health habits that they’ll need for life. More importantly, our pediatric dentists will be able to assess whether the cleaning you do at home is adequate. Our Vancouver Pediatric dentists can also quickly identify possible oral health problems and provide proper treatment or preventative techniques. Simply put, a our pediatric dentists have the skills needed to work with children to ensure their life-long oral health.
Getting Them Started At An Early Age!
Maintaining good oral habits is very important to oral health. Teeth, like other body parts, requires regular maintenance to stay clean and healthy. The best thing to do is to start developing healthy habits from a very young age.
During infancy stage (before the age of 2), the teeth of babies are still rather fragile. Therefore, teeth should be cleaned gently using a damp cloth on a regular basis. When the infant grows older to 2 years old, a tooth brush with soft bristles is highly recommended. As for tooth paste, try not to use products that are meant for adults. These products tend to be too heavy in fluoride. Pediatricians recommend using products that are developed specifically for children. Such products tend to be milder and are more suitable for young children. Also, avoid using fluoride mouth washes for children.
Good teeth cleaning habits start from a very young age. For example, you can teach a child to clean his teeth after every meal. Brushing teeth twice a day will be sufficient.
The only thing you have to be careful about is the amount of fluoride used in teeth brushing. An overdose can cause white spots to appear on the teeth. For young children, only a small amount of fluoride is required with each brushing. To determine the exact amount to use, be sure to check with your pediatrician.
Fluoride is the primary ingredient that helps to prevent cavities. You can’t clean teeth properly without using it, and you can’t use an amount that is too heavy for a child. So the best thing to do is to start from a small dosage, and then increase the amount gradually as the child grows older. Of course, be sure to keep your pediatrician in the loop so that if you are doing something incorrectly, your pediatrician can advise you quickly.
In the beginning, young children will not know how to handle tooth brushes correctly. The proper brushing techniques will have to be taught to the child. Book an appointment with your pediatrician and have the child learn proper brushing techniques together with the pediatrician. Improper brushing can lead to unclean teeth or even bleeding gum.
For the first couple of weeks or so, you will need to spend time personally with the child to ensure that the child forms the right brushing habit. You also have to be prepared to monitor the brushing techniques to ensure that the young child is doing things correctly. If you spot some mistakes, make sure you correct the child immediately. When you feel that the child can undertake the task in a satisfactory manner, you can stop the monitoring.
Of course, children tend to forget teeth brushing sometimes. Some may grow tired of the brushing and deliberately test your patience by “forgetting”. All you have to do, is to give them gentle reminders every now and then.
For more information, call our clinic today to speak with one of our Vancouver dentists.