Your child’s first dental appointment is a milestone that shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you are considering taking them to a regular dentist or even your own family dentist, you may have to think twice. For children’s dental needs, a paediatric practitioner is the ideal option.
Here are some of the reasons why.
Paediatric dentists are especially trained in caring and treating developing teeth and gums. Compared to family dentists, paediatric dentists are more qualified to handle unique oral problems faced by children and even infants.
Since they understand how teeth grow and develop, they are better equipped to anticipate the oral health problems your child could possibly have. Paediatric practitioners will also have the experience of with dealing frightened children and putting them at ease in the dreaded dentist’s chair.
The fitout of dental clinics that specialise in paediatric dental care are more child-friendly, too. The interiors often incorporate brightly-coloured décor, with toys and games in the waiting room to keep children amused and at ease.
During examination, many paediatric dentists would play popular children’s cartoons or shows through specialised screens over the dental chair to distract young patients. They may also reward your child with toys or stickers at the end of each appointment, so your little one would find it easier to associate trips to the dentist with positive experiences.
Additionally, seeing other children being happy and comfortable with their dentist can be a good model for your child to follow.
Using standard dental equipment on children is not inherently wrong or harmful. However, dental procedures and examinations might be more comfortable for children if their dentists are using smaller equipment specifically designed for a child’s mouth, and paediatric dentists have these.
Most dental equipment could also seem complex and scary for your child, so having these equipment used on them can be a stressful and overwhelming. Paediatric dentists usually ease children into the procedure by introducing each piece of equipment to them, familiarising them with how the dental equipment can help with their health.
A lifetime of good dental health and oral hygiene practices should ideally start at a young age. Paediatric dentists take this into account and focus on the prevention of dental problems your little one can have as their teeth develop.
They could also advise you on how to nurture healthy habits among children and teach your child proper oral hygiene. Your child can learn how to properly floss and brush their teeth twice a day. Paediatric dentists will be updated with the latest preventative dental procedures and treatments (like topical flouride treatments) that are specifically tailored for children, too.
Also, children commonly have habits that are harmful to their oral health, like teeth grinding and thumb sucking. If you are having difficulties in breaking your child out of such habits, a paediatric dentist can help you with it. They could sit down with your child and discuss why these habits are harmful, and assist you in stopping the habit altogether.
Like other healthcare professionals, dentists also specialise in diverse fields. Bringing your child to the appropriate healthcare provider is very important because it could shape how your child takes care of their health well into their adult years.