As the name suggests, pediatric dentistry refers to the specific branch of dental care that focuses mostly on infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentistry also includes those patients with special care needs. Due to the many developmental changes going on in a child’s mouth, these dentists must be highly trained and specialized.
Generally speaking, you will want to schedule your infant’s first dental appointment either around their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth. A typically routine affair, this appointment is mostly to check oral hygiene as well as for cavities and congenital problems. Baby teeth are not usually in by this time, but an initial appointment this early can allow a pediatric dentist to assess early childhood decay while advising parents on how best to treat their children’s potential dental issues.
Children grow rapidly in a pretty short amount of time, and as a result, you should look to schedule your pediatric dental appointments once every six months. This gives your pediatric dentist the best chance at catching those small, early signs of decay or other problems. Especially when the baby teeth start to come in, it is vital that your regular dentist has updated developmental dental records. This helps make future treatments a lot easier to establish.
Deciding when to start taking dental X-rays of your child’s teeth is dependent on each child. For example, children with a higher risk of potential dental problems (such as those with a cleft palate or baby bottle tooth decay) will need to start their dental X-rays earlier. Usually, however, most children will receive them between the ages of 5 or 6.
It is just as important to make sure your child receives dental X-rays as permanent teeth start to erupt. These X-rays can help ward off bite problems and other developmental issues.
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