Pediatric Dentistry

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Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry specializing in the dental care of pediatric patients, ranging from infants to young adults. The development stages pediatric dental professionals must be familiar with are:

  1. Prenatal Period- If or when the child's parents decide to stork the child, pediatric dentistry can become involved to ensure that the baby has proper oral health.
  2. Perinatal Period- Any abnormalities in a child's mouth may be diagnosed in this stage, pediatric dentistry should be consulted for a full exam in order to fix any problems detected. 
  3. Postnatal Period-At a family, they need to make sure that their diet is well planned out accordingly for their pediatric dental patients. As pediatric dentistry is a new field, pediatricians may need to consult pediatric dentists to ensure that their pediatric patients receive appropriate care.
  4. Mixed Dentition- During this stage, pediatric dentistry should be consulted for any abnormalities that may appear during brushing procedures.
  5. Adulthood- Pediatric Dentistry should continue to play a significant role in adults' oral healthcare needs, such as Dental implants and Mouthguards (sports-related)
  6. Puberty/Adolescence- pediatric dentists play an important role in developing their pediatric patients' oral health. Pediatricians and adult dentists should supplement them until the person reaches adulthood. It is also very important for parents to make sure their children brush correctly and floss daily.

As seen, pediatric dentistry is a very important aspect of overall pediatric health. Pediatric dentistry can be integrated into pediatricians' and pediatric dentists' daily schedules to ensure the proper care of pediatric patients. 

At what age should a child begin seeing a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentistry should be integrated into pediatricians' and pediatric dentists' daily schedules to ensure the proper care of pediatric patients. At what age children should begin seeing a pediatric dentist is not entirely clear due to the different variables that could affect when a child needs their first checkup. It's advisable to take young children from the age of two to see a pediatric dentist often. [It suggested, however, that pediatric dentists would see patients from infancy through adolescence.]  

When parents bring their baby in for a consult with a pediatric dentist soon after bringing them home from the hospital, it is more likely that any problems will be caught early before they have had a chance to develop into something more complicated down the line. 

It is also generally understood that mothers tend to notice injuries or conditions of their babies far earlier than pediatricians might. In addition, parents may consult pediatric dental professionals if they notice any abnormalities in a child's mouth, and pediatric dentists consult pediatricians to see if any oral health conditions need attention.

Children should see a pediatrician at least once a year, even if they have no complaints about their teeth or gums and tooth decay. The reason for this schedule of checkups is to ensure that the teeth, gums, and jaws are developing normally, that the child has healthy teeth, and that they know how to care for them properly. 

At each visit, the pediatric dentist will perform a comprehensive developmental assessment of the child's mouth, jaws and face - checking everything from the growth of their teeth to the position of their tongues. They will also measure a child's bite, screen for oral cancer and perform a detailed tooth cleaning. Taking a child for checkups from an early age makes sure that abnormalities are treated at an early age.

Why is pediatric dentistry important?

The importance of dentists, in general, is well-known, however, very few people understand the importance of pediatric dentistry. It is important to be aware that children's teeth are not like adult's teeth. Adult teeth come in at a set point in time, while children have teeth that erupt on a more or less consistent basis. Therefore, the child must have their teeth examined regularly by a pediatric dentist. Children's oral health can affect speech development and overall general health, so good dental care from infancy through adolescence is important to maintain the health of your child's smile.

Some of the most important benefits of pediatric dental care involve:

  1. Healthy Children

The importance of a child's oral health is that it can have long-term effects on the development and growth of their teeth and gums. This can affect the rest of your child's body, such as jaw, face, head, and neck. Neglecting regular care by a pediatric dentist can increase the risk of health problems for your child.

  1. Preventative Care

Preventative care is important because it allows you to catch any problems that may arise during checkups or cleanings before they become a serious concern. This will allow you to treat the problem early and manage it more effectively than if you waited until it became more of an issue. Oral diseases and Selective Mutism can be diagnosed and treated.

  1. Better Health Screening

The pediatric dentist can give your child a better health screening because they know what to look for throughout the entire mouth, not just certain areas like regular dentists do.

How much is spent on pediatric dentistry each year?

The United States spends the most money on pediatric dentistry compared to any other country in the world. The amount of money spent varies from year to year, however, it is always one of the highest expenditures within dentistry. 

According to Healthline, "overall spending on pediatric dentistry amounted to about $5 billion in 2016." This number is expected to rise as more children are born, and more procedures are performed each year.

The cost of care for children can vary depending on many factors, including family income level and age. Prevention is always less expensive than treatment, so regular checkups are not only great for your child's oral health but also will save you money!

A frequently asked question by parents "Is dental insurance really worth it?" Here are some benefits that may convince you otherwise: 

1) Many insurance plans don't require waiting periods, meaning if your kiddo starts getting teeth early (and needs an exam!), you're covered. 

2) Some plans cover x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments and other preventive treatments for children.

The benefits of pediatric dentistry are well-known, still not everyone can take their kids for regular checkups because they are too expensive. The cost can vary depending on the family income level and age of the child, but whatever the price may be it will always be worth what you pay because there is nothing better or less expensive than a healthy smile which you get from taking care of your teeth with a professional pediatric dentist.

A smile is synonymous with pleasure and desire, usmile’s oral care products help you show off your perfect teeth! 

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