New parents may wonder whether their children need to see a specialty dentist when they are young. After all, their baby teeth will soon be replaced by permanent ones.
But young children do need special attention especially during these transitional years of growth and development. When choosing a dentist for your child, it is important to find one who really understands children's special dental needs.
Common Childhood Dental Needs
As soon as a baby's first tooth erupts at around six months, it will need care. Teething lasts from six to 24 months in most cases and presents itself with the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling
- Biting on toys and other objects
- Tugging on their ears
Some parents allow children to fall asleep with a bottle, which can cause serious damage to newly erupted teeth called nursing bottle caries, or tooth decay.
Thumb sucking while young may cause problems later on with proper alignment of the teeth as the child grows older. In general, pacifiers are more acceptable than thumbs for several reasons:
- They are softer
- There is less stress on the teeth
- You can clean a pacifier
Oral Care for Children
You should begin brushing the teeth and gums of your baby very gently. As your children progress through childhood, to adolescents, the following preventative practice can help them avoid dental problems.
- Regular brushing and flossing
- Regular dental check-ups and cleanings
- Fluoride mouth rinses or fluoridated water
- Dental sealants
Deciding on a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists typically gear their practices for the younger crowd. This helps alleviate the fear of going to the dentist and allows you to make dental visits a normal part of growing up. Pediatric dentistry is a recognized dental specialty, requiring additional years of schooling and training. Ask to see the dentist's credentials and associations.
When choosing a pediatric dentist it is important to examine their qualifications carefully, but more importantly to check out their chair side manner. Obtaining personal references from other moms and dads is important.
Dentists who care about their patients continue their education. Ask about what further education your prospective dentist has undergone and how they apply that training to their practice.
For more assistance with choosing a pediatric dentist, please contact dentist, Dr. Gordon Chee at Aesthetic Dental Studio in Calgary, Alberta by calling 403-543-4600 or completing our online form.