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A child’s first visit to the dentist can influence their attitude to dental care for the rest of their lives. In many cases that first visit will also determine whether or not dental visits become chores for you; a bad experience can result in an anxious child every time the word “dentist” is even mentioned. Consider the fact of how strange and frightening it is for the child to have someone they do not know inspecting their mouth with cold, metal tools. A dental care provider who specializes in the treatment of young patients can help with this. Pediatric dentists provide dental care for patients from infancy to the teen years.
Why Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
The dental needs of children differ greatly from those of adults. In addition to the four years of education needed to get their degree, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two years of training in their specialty to learn how to meet the dental needs of children. Also, the practice of a pediatric dental care provider will focus on making the child more at ease, where as a general dental practitioner may not cater specifically to children. The effort to make a child comfortable may be reflected in everything from the ambience of the practice to the attitude of the staff. Pediatric dentists and those who work for them know how to interact with children and to gain their confidence. While a general dental care provider is capable of providing adequate care for patients of all ages, a pediatric dentist will have specialized training which can help to make a dental visit easier for both parent and child.
The Need for Pediatric Dental Care
Dental problems often start out early, so that taking your child to a pediatric dentist early in life can save them from a lifetime of problems with their teeth. There is a misconception that children do not have to get regular dental care since they will be losing their teeth anyway, but the truth is that they need to have dental checkups every six months just like adults.
Making Dental Visits Less Stressful
Aside from choosing a provider who specializes in pediatric dental care, there are other things you can do to lessen the stress. For example you should make sure that your child understands what will be involved in the process. To this end, you should ascertain from the dentist what will happen on the first visit. Providing this information to your child can help to prevent any unpleasant surprises but it is important to not relay too much as this can lead to more questions and make the event more of an ordeal than it needs to be. Some dentists may allow you to go into the examination room with your child. This may help the child to keep still and to be calm. In other cases, the dental practitioner may request to see the child alone so as to gain their confidence. In many cases, initial dental visits will serve only to help your child be comfortable with going to the dentist and no actual dental work will be done. Once the child is comfortable at the dentist, the initial procedures will usually be:
· A complete jaw and gum examination to spot any potential problems.
· Cleaning to remove tartar from the enamel of the teeth, if necessary.
· A check to see if the child needs fluoride.
· X-rays, if necessary.
During the visit, the pediatric dentist will answer any questions you may have with regard to the dental health of your child.
About the author
Dr. Vu Le is the Owner of VuLe DDS, Inc. Dr. Vu Le is an experienced Foothill Ranch Dentist, specializing in family dentistry, Cosmetic dentistry, teeth capping and dental fillings. He is certified, prides himself in building strong relationships with each of his patients and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dental community.