Pediatric dentistry is an independent branch of dentistry and includes all treatments in the area of teeth, mouth and jaw from birth. Pediatric dentistry differs considerably from adult dentistry. Since the growth of the skull in children is not yet complete, the child’s teeth are also constantly developing. Up to the age of about 6, children have a milk dentition consisting of 20 teeth. The milk teeth fall out approximately at the beginning of school attendance and the permanent teeth develop.
Only healthy milk teeth offer the permanent teeth the possibility to develop healthy and malpositioned teeth can be avoided. Since the foundation stone for lasting dental health is laid as early as in childhood, special attention is also paid to prophylaxis and oral hygiene.
Child psychology should not be underestimated here. Children’s dentists are specially trained in dealing with children in order to take away their fear of visiting a dentist.
Prophylaxis in pediatric dentistry
Dental prophylaxis means measures to prevent diseases and health complications especially in the area of teeth and jaw.
Children should be made familiar with the rules of tooth brushing and oral hygiene at an early age. As milk teeth have a softer enamel, they are also more susceptible to tooth decay. Especially in small children, the so-called “teat bottle caries” (Nursing Bottle Syndrome) can often be observed. This is caused by beverages containing sugar or acid, which are supplied to the child via the teat bottle.
Diseased milk teeth, however, also have a negative effect on the following permanent teeth. From the age of 30 at the latest, you should regularly present your child to a dentist. The paediatric dentist will also discuss a healthy diet, oral hygiene and certain other forms of prophylaxis in childhood. Fluoridation also offers preventive protection against tooth decay. The necessary fluoride is added to the child’s teeth via toothpaste, table salt or a special gel or fluoride tablets. The dosage is age-dependent. The dentist can also seal the cheek teeth and apply certain varnishes and will do this if necessary and after consultation with the parents.
Malocclusions in children’s teeth can be detected and treated by the dentist at an early stage. This shortens the duration of treatment and prevents consequential damage to children’s teeth. Cooperation with an orthodontist may be necessary here.
Since the success of all these preventive measures also depends on the cooperation of the young patients, pediatric dentists are particularly psychologically trained.
Caries treatment for children
Also with milk teeth caries infestation can cause violent pains and inflammations and impair the entire immune system of the child.
Carious or dead milk teeth are not a good prerequisite for the health of the permanent dental apparatus and can lead to malpositioned teeth. It is therefore imperative to treat infested children’s teeth and remove them if necessary.
The paediatric dentist will endeavour to make the treatment as short and painless as possible in order to spare the child unnecessary anxiety. X-rays or impressions of the child’s teeth are sometimes necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Treatments or extractions, especially of badly damaged teeth, can be carried out with local elimination of pain. The paediatric dentist will discuss this with the parents of the young patient in advance. The father or mother can of course stay with their children during the treatment and thus give them additional security. Parents should not only visit a dentist’s office suitable for children at the first toothache of the child, but should also familiarize children with the situation and examination at the dentist’s beforehand.
In the practice of a pediatric dentist, a trained team awaits the patient in a child-friendly, friendly and quiet environment. The doctor and the entire practice team will have a friendly and explanatory effect on the child and thus take away the fear of subsequent visits.
The child will thus develop a positive attitude towards visits to the dentist, lose the fear of not always painless treatment and show a bright smile with healthy teeth from the milk teeth to the permanent teeth.
Author: Heilpraktiker Felix Teske
Top 3 books on pediatric dentistry
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