The Benefits of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

If you were to look in a textbook for a description of a pediatric dentist, you would read a definition that states “the branch of the dental healing arts that focuses on the condition of children and associated structures of the oral cavity.”  However, if you ask a pediatric dentist to define what they do, you will get a much different answer. The truth is a pediatric dentist is so much more and there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat your child.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist is their gentle nature. Going to see the dentist can be overwhelming for many adults, so imagine how a young child must feel. Pediatric dentists are aware of these common concerns and because they have the training and skills to manage them, they are best suited to make your child feel comfortable and at ease once they are in the dentist’s chair.

While having a dentist who makes your child feel comfortable is important, it is equally as important to make sure that the person taking care of them is well qualified; this happens to be another advantage of selecting a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of formal training to focus on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity, from birth through the teenage years. Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they are naturally better equipped to address the many potential problems that may occur, such as a delayed loss of baby teeth or the development of cavities and tooth decay.

Pediatric dentists take a holistic approach to providing care to children and work with parents to identify environmental factors that may contribute to poor dental health, such as dietary choices and the potential risks associated with habits such as thumb sucking, teeth grinding or the use of a pacifier.  These interactive opportunities serve to empower the entire family to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Statistics indicate that pre-school children are getting more cavities than ever before, with one out of every four children having one by the age of four. In addition, children miss more time from school due to tooth aches than they do from the flu. Due to these alarming facts a pediatric dentist will practice developmentally-based dental care by focusing a great deal of time during your child’s initial visits on teaching them about good dental habits, such as how to properly take care of their gums and teeth.

The pediatric dental team at Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to treating all children, from the time their first tooth erupts through their high school years. They believe the world is a happier place when it is filled with smiling children and they take pride in maintaining those smiles.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Cavity Prevention for Children

 Dental cavities can be prevented for most children. To keep those pearly whites pearly it takes being mindful about eating, drinking and brushing habits along with being knowledgeable about your child’s water supply. Remember, every time we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starches, bacteria in our mouth uses the sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Our saliva can help fight off this acid attack unless there are a lot of foods high in starch and sugar in your diet. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on how often your children eat as well as what they eat.

A key source in strengthening teeth against cavities is fluoride. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is important for preventing cavities. Most bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. If your child drinks only bottled water, speak with a dentist about whether your child needs additional fluoride in the form of a vitamin, varnish, or gel.

Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. For children aged two to six, it is recommended that an adult puts the toothpaste on the brush. Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.Try brushing your child’s teeth first, then let him/her finish.  Until they are seven or eight years old, you will need to help your child brush.

Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it. Children under six years old tend to swallow much of the toothpaste on their brush. If children regularly consume higher-than-recommended amounts of fluoride during the teeth-forming years (age eight and younger), their permanent teeth may develop white lines or flecks called dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is usually mild; in many cases, only a dental professional would notice it. (In children under age two, dental experts recommend that you do not use fluoride toothpaste unless directed by a dentist.)

It is recommended that children see their dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cavity prevention. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.