Pediatric dental care can be difficult to find, as many general dentistry practices are not trained specifically for children. This is simply because dentists that specialize in childhood dentistry (and this is the definition of pediatric dentistry) need not just the skills but the character and patience for children.
Good dental hygiene in children includes baby teeth care and primary tooth care. There are treatments involved such as the use of fluoride that benefit the developing teeth.
In addition,pediatric dental care involves using childhood psychology to relax children. Many visits might be needed before work ever proceeds. This does make it more difficult to find than adult dental care.
Parents may also worry about how their children will relate and act when in a dental office. Children can be unpredictable and even the best children can become overwhelmed at the dentist.
So How Does a Family Find Quality Pediatric Dental Care?
A few steps in the process will ensure the quality needed with the least amount of stress for the child, the dental clinic, and the family.
· Check with your pediatrician for a recommendation.
· Ask other parents for referrals for who they take their children to.
· Do research online and offline. Sounds simple but many dentists, like all healthcare professionals, can offer pediatric dental treatment and will focus on this as an offering. It is best to see a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist.
· In addition, look for reviews that highlight this type of dentistry.
· Contact schools and non-profit organizations. There is a surprising number that exists with plans and resources for good dental health in children. Schools can also offer “in-school” presentations by dentists and this is a great way to advance the knowledge and comfort of a child with dental work.
· Parents can educate themselves in pediatric dental clinics and practitioners. They should also educate themselves in the different types of dental treatment provided and treatment options, such as nitrous oxide and oral sedation.
· Make sure to research emergency dentists ahead of time. Some dentists are listed on emergency lists especially if a child is in pain and will offer services,especially during emergencies. These emergency dentists generally only take care of the emergency, however.
· A trip to an ER during a fall or dental emergency can reveal which dentists are available as doctors in emergency rooms are quick to impart knowledge and make recommendations.
· Call any dentist, even your own, and ask about pediatric dental practices. Dentists continually interact with insurance companies and other dentists to continue their own education and will be glad to assist anyone by providing the names of those that accept pediatric patients.
Since2018, Pediatric Dental Care Has Become a Priority
In the USA alone, according to the CDC(Centers for Disease Control), early childhood dentistry provides lifelong healthy habits, preventing problems in adulthood.
Sealants on children’s teeth can prevent up to 60 percent of cavities and loss of teeth later in life. Unfortunately, this has to occur early, before the pre-teen years.
In Canada,where employers do not generally provide dental insurance, the incidence of cavities in pre-teens is higher. According to the CHMS (Canadian Health Measures Survey),by the age of 19, most Canadian teens have at least one major cavity, leading to adult tooth loss of up to 90 percent by age 55.
Summary-Guide to Quality Pediatric Dental Care for Families
All parents,no matter what type of issue a child is having, or the age of the child, should be prepared to provide good dental care even before a child is born. Bad dental hygiene leads to cavities, pain, and abscesses, and can even impair chewing abilities and affect nutrition.
While it can be a strenuous strategy to find pediatric dental care for families, bringing a child into the world caries a responsibility and good dental care is one of these. Children with poor smiles suffer physically, emotionally, and socially so it is an important aspect of being a great parent.
In all studies worldwide, dental health is tied to overall general good health. Dental screenings not only prevent cavities but also detect cancers and other obstructions of chewing such as misalignments.
The earlier a child starts a dental routine with regular dental visits, the more of a habit it becomes which does carry into adulthood. Worldwide, this health issue isbeing addressed and the guide above hopefully can assist parents in finding and choosing a pediatric dental clinic or dentist.
Good early pediatric dental care is also being explored by major worldwide foundations such as the WHO (World Health Organization) and research into how to integrate this into communities with little or no funding or policies is currently being studied in these developing countries.
Hopefully,soon all children and even adults will have access to the dental care needed for a high quality of life no matter where they live or what age they are.
Related article: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Common Pediatric Dental Procedures