When it comes to dental care, it’s most definitely not one size fits all. Dental care for children is quite different from adults, and children should see a kids dentist for the appropriate services. Sound dental care begins at an early age, and habits implanted early in life can help to maintain dental health over the years.
Dental care for kids is different
Dentistry for kids requires some special techniques and care. Even though good dental health is essential for children, one child out of five in the U.S. does not have access to dental care.
Pedantic dental care must address special problems and issues. By the time they reach kindergarten, four out of 10 children will have developed cavities in their teeth. Children are also prone to medical emergencies resulting from cavities and toothache.
Pediatric dental care should begin early
Pediatric dental care can begin as soon as the first teeth appear, at the age of four months or so. A washcloth can be used to clean the teeth and gums. You can eventually move on to using a small toothbrush. However, for children under the age of two years, dentists advise using a flouride-free toothpaste.
Dental visits should begin at the age of one year. Many people think that care for baby teeth is not as important as adult teeth, which come in at around the age of six. However, baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth and any damage to them can cause problems later on.
Prevention of cavities is major concern
Children’s teeth are particularly vulnerable to damage through cavities and injuries. Cavities are more common than juvenile diabetes and childhood asthma.
A major concern for kids dentists is the prevention of cavities and caries or gum disease in children. For example, sealants are highly effective in reducing tooth decay in the permanent molars and can be effective for up to four years.
Injuries and other problems
Children’s teeth are also highly vulnerable to injuries suffered during sports. According to the AAPD, 10 to 39% of all dental injuries in children, especially chipped or broken teeth, happen while playing sports. Overall, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools reports that dental related illnesses result in the loss of 51 million school hours each year.
Kids dentists treat problems that are childhood specific. These require specific treatments and pediatric dentistry can be quite different from adults. Dental pediatricians focus on treating cavities and dealing with damage due to injuries and accidents.