When Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?
What is a pediatric dentist?
As parents, our greatest priority for children is keeping them healthy and safe. Think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This system starts with basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and sleep. Tied to those basic needs are the right medical and dental care to ensure our bodies perform as they should.
For this reason, parents of young children find themselves seeking out pediatricians and pediatric dentists who can help support their children’s health. But when it comes to your child’s teeth, exactly when should they see a pediatric dentist?
Before we get into the specifics on when and why your child should see a pediatric dentist, let’s clarify the differences between a pediatric dentist and the family dentist that you might pay a visit to every six months. Whereas family dentists offer general dentistry services to customers of all ages, pediatric dentists receive special training to provide dental care for children.
Pediatric dentists such as the dentists at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska are qualified to treat your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth, from infancy through their teenage years. And since children get their baby teeth during their first six months and then start to lose their teeth around age six or seven, pediatric dentists have to stay on top of those changing needs. Without proper dental care, children can be subject to tooth decay and other illnesses that can contribute to pain and other complications later in life.
Your child’s pediatric dentist can provide therapeutic care that ensures injury or dental decay doesn’t stand in the way of your child’s beautiful smile. Further, if your child has special needs, we have the training, technology, sedation options, and age-appropriate communication to help make their time in the dental chair a smooth one.
Your child should see a pediatric dentist within six months of their first tooth appearing, or by age one.
Early dental care is the best thing you can do for your child to set them up for a lifetime of good dental habits. Not only does it help your child get used to the actual process of seeing a dentist, but the dentist can also get to know your child. These early visits can save parents money as the likelihood of restorative dental or emergency dental visits lessens significantly. Your child’s pediatric dentist can provide parents with critical information on good oral and facial development and establish whether your child will require fluoride treatments to aid in satisfactory oral health.
After your child’s first dental visit, parents should establish a routine to take their child to the pediatric dentist every six months. Waiting an entire year between visits isn’t the best idea, as this means that not only may a cavity develop, but it can worsen and deepen with time. More frequent visits to the dentist can help the development of tooth decay and provide remediation treatments to help fill the cavity and avoid a toothache for your child. Ultimately, catching a cavity early on can mean the difference between a simple dental filling or a root canal.
Your child’s pediatric dentist can become their dental home.
A dental home encourages an ongoing relationship between the dentist and their patient. This allows a dentist to better get to know your child so that more comprehensive and coordinated care can be provided as your child gets older and has evolving needs.
Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska provides routine evaluations, dental cleanings, and more for your child starting at infancy and extending through the high school years. And when your child has aged out and no longer needs a pediatric dentist, we can provide referrals for the best family dentist to continue their care.
Looking for a pediatric dentist in Greater Nebraska?
If you are in need of a pediatric dentist for your child and live in the Greater Nebraska area, know that we offer locations in Grand Island, Hastings, North Platte, and Omaha. Be sure to request an appointment for your child within six months of their first tooth appearing or by one year of age.
In addition to our four convenient locations, parents appreciate our experienced, caring team that can provide dental care for children of all ages. Plus, our use of the latest dental technologies means that your child can anticipate a comfortable and pain-free experience in the dental chair. Come discover why Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska is the right pediatric dental home for your child!