Pediatric dentistry (formerly Pedodontics/Paedodontics) primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence. The American Dental Association (ADA), recognizes pediatric dentistry as a specialty, and therefore requires dentists to undertake two or three years of additional training after completing a general dentistry degree. At the end of this training, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry issues a unique diploma (Diplomate ABPD). Some pediatric dentists (pedodontists) opt to specialize in oral care for children with special needs, specifically children with autism, varying levels of mental retardation, or cerebral palsy.
One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology. Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.” Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences and find their “dental home” as early as possible.
What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?
Pediatric dentists fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene. They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.
Other important functions include:
Education – Pediatric dentists educate the child using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology, thus emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, pediatric dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen. Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay. In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, pediatric dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb- sucking/pacifier/smoking cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.
Intervention – In some cases, pediatric dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may be scheduled.
If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.
- Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
- Care for Your Child’s Teeth
- Dental Emergencies
- Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)
- Does Your Child Grind His or Her Teeth at Night?
- Early Orthodontic Treatment
- Eruption of Your Child’s Teeth
- First Visit
- Good Diet
- How Often Should Children Have Dental Checkups?
- How to Prevent Cavities
- Mouth Guards
- Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking
- Perinatal and Infant Oral Health
- Sealing Out Tooth Decay
- Sippy Cups
- Tobacco Use
- Tongue Piercing
- What is Pulp Therapy?
- What’s the Best Toothpaste for My Child?
- When Should Children Have Their First Dental Visit?
- y Start Getting Teeth?
- Why Are Primary Teeth Important?
- Why See a Pediatric Dentist?
- Xylitol – Reducing Cavities
Their number one priority is to make you comfortable. Their second is to help your teeth. They will immediately stop if you feel any pain. Friendly, professional environment with all the newest tech. Flat screens in every room that you get to choose the channel to while they work on your teeth. Great distraction. If you need dental help, there is absolutely no question. Go here!!!
Anonymous Google May 12, 2023
I do not typically leave reviews for anything, but I had to for these great people. Having had a traumatic dental experience in the past, I have been very lax about my dental needs due to fear and anxiety. So, when my tooth pain was more than I could handle I called Kelly Family Dentistry. From the time I sat down in the chair, to the escort to the receptionist after my appointment, I was treated with respect and kindness every step of the way. They explained everything to me and were continually asking me how I was doing during the procedure. Thank you, thank you Dr. Kelly for the great respect you showed me and for letting me see what a dental experience is supposed to be like. A huge shout out to his staff.....in my book you guys are absolutely top notch!!
Arleen KellyFamilyDentistry.com May 5, 2023