As someone who specializes in the treatment and care of little people’s teeth, parents often ask me how important it is to take children to a pediatric dentist. In fact, many don’t realize that this is an option in the first place.
Yes, there are options! There are dentists, like me, who specialize in the unique needs of infants, children, and young teens’ teeth. Alternatively, there are family dentists who are qualified to care for patients of all ages. Naturally, I believe that pediatric dentists are the way to go when parents have the option, and here are my reasons:
Teeth Development in Children
Generally speaking, a baby’s first teeth will begin to break through at 6 months; those teeth will stay put until about age 6 or 7, when they begin to fall out and be replaced by permanent, adult teeth. Although children lose their first set of teeth, poor oral care in those early years can lead to issues and disease that lasts throughout life. Parents often think of troublesome sicknesses such as asthma and allergies; however, dental problems such as early childhood caries (an infectious disease also known as baby bottle tooth decay or bottle rot) are five times as common.
What Sets Pediatric Dentists Apart
Pediatric dentists have a lot to learn! Unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists are required to complete up to three additional years of specialty training in the unique needs of children’s teeth. Since the dental journey includes growing a first set, losing them, and then growing an adult set, there’s a lot to keep up with during each stage. I specialize in helping families make it a healthy journey from the start!
Specialized Treatment Options
Parents know that taking care of children – especially health exams like regular dentist visits – can be stressful at times. Pediatric dentists are great at knowing how to make visits as painless and pleasant as possible. Our offices are full of color, activities, and warmth, which can make kids’ experiences fun and educational, too. Dentists often recommend dental appliances and corrective treatments during the childhood and adolescent years. As a pediatric dentist, I also have the most up-to-date knowledge about treatment options and advancements in the field for children.
We all want the best for children. When it comes to keeping their mouths, teeth, and gums healthy for the long haul, a pediatric dentist just makes sense!
Dr. Tanesha Francis is the owner of Park Slope Kids Dental Care in Brooklyn, NY. Make an appointment at 718-488-0200 or visit www.parkslopekidsdental.com.