You’re sitting in a dental chair getting your teeth cleaned. No big deal, right?
Suddenly, though, you’re overwhelmed with the thought that it might be time for you to take your young child to the dentist for the first time.
A thought you hadn’t had yet.
If your child is around the age of 1, now might be a good time to do this. After all, most experts recommend taking children to the dentist for the first time by the time they reach the age of 1.
The one question you might have is where you should go for this? Can you go to your regular dentist or should you find a clinic that offers pediatric dental services?
A pediatric dental clinic is the way to go. If you are wondering what a clinic like this does and why you should go there, keep reading and I’ll explain everything you need to know.
The Many Facets of Dental Services
Dentists are not all the same. Some offer basic dental services like cleanings and exams, while others offer services only for cosmetic purposes.
There are also dentists who specialize only in root canals or treatment for gum disease, and there are plenty of other types too.
In the list of dentist types, you’ll also come across the type that offers pediatric services, and this is the type you’ll want for your children. This is the type of dentist that offers services to kids only.
The Unique Traits of Pediatric Dental Services
Choosing a pediatric dental clinic for your child is not a rule you have to follow. I mean, you could take him or her to a general dentist if you want. Pediatric dentists, though, specialize in oral health for kids.
Due to this limited focus, a pediatric dentist knows the challenges of performing services on children and working with them. He or she will also know every last thing there is to know about the mouth of a child.
For a pediatric dentist to accommodate this target market, you’ll see a difference as soon as you step in the door.
The office may be painted in kid-friendly colors. There might be a TV on with a kid’s film playing. You might see toys, books, and small chairs all positioned around a little table.
When you enter, you’ll know it was designed with kids in mind. When your kids enter, they’ll instantly feel right at home.
Don’t think, though, that the kid-friendly atmosphere stops there because it doesn’t. You’ll find that it’s carried out throughout the entire clinic.
You’ll see it in the way the staff talks to the kids, and in the way procedures are handled. You might even see a prize box for the kids to pick toys from after their visits.
If kids feel comfortable, safe, and happy while there, they’ll want to come back and it will make the work easier for the dentists to complete.
The Services Offered by Pediatric Dentists
In terms of what pediatric dentists do, there are a lot of different things. They focus on preventative care just like other dentists, and this is why they encourage regular visits every six months.
A regular visit for a child is very similar to a regular visit for an adult, except that it will be catered to the mind of a child. It will include x-rays, a cleaning, a fluoride treatment, and an examination.
If there is a problem with a tooth, a pediatric dentist will offer a solution. These are some of the common dental services offered for kids:
Cavity removal and fillings
Pediatric dentists take cavities seriously in both primary and permanent teeth. If your child ends up with decay on any tooth, the dentist will suggest removing it and filling it.
If the decay is on a tooth that may fall out soon, the dentist might recommend removing the tooth instead of treating it. If so, the child may need a space maintainer put in place of the extracted tooth.
The use of space maintainers in pediatric dentistry is common whenever a baby tooth comes out before the permanent tooth erupts. This device just “maintains the space” where the permanent tooth will erupt in the future.
Sealants are also a common procedure in this field of dentistry. Dentists place these on primary and permanent teeth once they fully erupt. They are made of liquid plastic that hardens once in place.
When a child has sealants, his or her teeth are protected from decay. It doesn’t mean that the child will never get a cavity on the tooth but it does mean that it would be much more difficult for this to occur.
Preparation work for braces
As a child gets older, the dentist might also perform services to prepare his or her mouth for braces. This might include extracting teeth that are not needed or using a retainer to move teeth prior to getting braces.
Why Taking Kids to a Pediatric Dental Clinic Is the Better Choice
As I mentioned, you can take your kids to a general dentist but you shouldn’t expect to get the same results from the services or the same reaction from your kids.
One thing to understand is that kids often fear the dentist but most are less likely to have these fears when they start visiting a dentist at an early age.
Kids are also less likely to fear dentists when the atmosphere is one in which a child can fit right into.
Do you want your kids to enjoy going or would you rather have to fight with them to go?
I’d also like to mention that pediatric dentists offer better services for kids. After all, these dentists were trained to work with kids and to understand how to handle the types of work kids often need.
Your Next Step
Pediatric dental services are the best choice for kids of all ages. If you want your kids to like going to their checkups, this is the way to go.
You can contact us if you have any questions about the services we offer or if you’d like to schedule a first visit for your child.