Because children are still growing, their dental needs differ from adults. Pediatric dentistry is the field of dental medicine that specializes in the dental health of children, from infants to teenagers. Pediatric dentists have the same qualifications as traditional dentists, but have also studied pediatric techniques, and ways to reduce the trauma of dentistry for children.
A child with high anxiety may benefit from sedation during dental procedures. Sedatives are used to help reduce a child's anxiety, relax him and increase his willingness to cooperate. Sedation makes a child drowsy, but is not intended to make him unconscious or unresponsive. Even when anxiety is not present, sedation may assist a child who requires extensive treatment to stay still and resist fidgeting.
Some children with special needs are very susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease and oral trauma, due to the special diets they have or medications they take. The specialized training that pediatric dentists undertake in areas such as sedation and behavior management equips them to treat special needs children effectively, and encourage them to engage in preventative measures at home.
To teenagers, appearance and self-image are very important. Decayed and poorly-positioned teeth can exacerbate their self-consciousness. Pediatric dentists also specialize in esthetic dentistry that improves the look of a child's teeth. Children can be very prone to tooth discoloration. Trauma to a tooth, poor dental hygiene, serious illness and exposure to medication or minerals are just some of the many causes of discoloration. Bleaching and micro abrasion are effective treatments that require no anesthetic and remove no tooth structure. Braces can also be a long-term strategy that will help teenagers improve tooth positioning.
Pediatric dentists also try to encourage children to develop good habits to prevent tooth decay. A healthy diet is of paramount importance to a child's overall well-being and tooth development. The pediatric dentist will help children understand the importance of reducing sugar and starch consumption. Fluoride is also important in the growth of healthy teeth. In communities where fluoride was removed from the drinking water, a dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement during the years the teeth are developing.
"What Is the Meaning of Pediatric Dentistry" - Holly Johns