What’s the difference between a family dentist and children’s dentist? Are they the same thing? The answer is yes and no. Both have to do with keeping your teeth healthy, but we approach children’s dentistry and family dentistry differently. Becasue of this, we specialize in providing dental services for children to start life with healthy teeth.
Children’s dentists are dedicated to the oral health of infants, children, adolescents and patients with special needs. You may know a lot about family dentistry but we can help you to know the difference between a family and children’s dentist. Also, learn why starting out early with good oral hygiene is a must.
Why A Children’s Dentist is Needed
A children’s dentist is specifically trained to meet the needs of infants, toddlers and adolescents. They understand their unique needs, fears, and expectations.
Because most babies begin teething and receive their “primary teeth” at 6 months old, attention to oral care is essential. Primary teeth are known as the baby teeth. There are usually 10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw. These are usually spaced out to make room for adult teeth that will grow. Even though these baby teeth will eventually fall out, they fulfill and important role. Baby teeth aid in speech development, digestion and guide permanent teeth into place.
Becasue of this, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen for exams as early as one year of age or within 6 months of the first baby tooth erupting.
Infant and Child Exams
During an infant exam, we allow the infant to stay in the comfort of your arms or security of your lap. Because the child will be positioned facing their parent, with their legs wrapped around the parent’s waist, they will feel more secure during the exam.
Dr. Cat will sit knee-to-knee with the parent and the child will be lowered back onto the dentist’s lap. The parent keeps contact with their child the entire appointment. We have found that the best way to keep children calm is to have the parent with the child for each examination.
Dr. Cat will examine your child’s mouth using a mirror and soft toothbrush. The ADA recommends that infants and children receive a check-up every 6 months for their teeth. Because the jaw and mouth are still growing before the age of 10, we recommend that orthodontic care be taken early-on. And, if we find the presence of a bite problem (overbite, underbite, crossbite, openbite) it can be treated before mouth structures become more fixed.
Call for a Consultation
Children’s dentists are very important for treating oral health and wellness, as major problems (such as bite problems) are discovered and dealt with at an early age to prevent difficulty in later years. When we see your child when young, we can monitor how much space is in the mouth for adult teeth to come in correctly. As always, no matter the age, it is vitally important to take amazing care of your teeth with proper oral hygiene habits (even for infants). To learn more about children’s dentistry and our services for families and adults, call Li’l Sunshine Smiles at (813) 576-0002.