A Pediatric Dentist is a dental specialist who has attended two years of extra training following four years of dental school. To become a Pediatric Dentist, you must attend one of the accredited two-year Pediatric Dental Residencies programs. During this extra training or “residency”, pediatric dental residents are trained to treat the specific dental needs of children. During this time they study growth and development, interceptive orthodontics, child psychology, traditional and advanced behavior management, oral conscious sedation, hospital operating room procedures, and the treatment of special needs and medically compromised children. Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of oral health.
A Board Certified Pediatric Dentist is a pediatric dentist who has passed the board eligibility exam and the oral board exam. Passing both of these exams means that a pediatric dentist has demonstrated the didactic and clinical expertise to be board certified. Once certified, they are given the title of Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Only 64% of pediatric dentist earn this distinction.
The American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentist and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that every child see a Pediatric Dentist by age one. This is because your child is susceptible to cavities from the time the first tooth appears, usually between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Your Pediatric Dentist can help determine your child’s cavity risk and teach you how to help prevent cavities, one of the most common infectious diseases of childhood.
You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to appear. You can brush with a clean damp cloth or a children's toothbrush. Your child’s Pediatric Dentist can give you specific recommendations for your child.
You should start flossing your child’s teeth when their teeth begin touching. If you can see spaces between your child’s teeth, then you do not need to floss your child’s teeth as brushing alone will clean them. Your child’s Pediatric Dentist can give you specific recommendations for your child.
There are many factors that contribute to a child acquiring cavities. There are some basic things you can do to lower the chances of your child getting cavities.
Your child’s Pediatric Dentist can discuss specific ways you can prevent cavities.
If you think your child has injured their teeth you should consult your Pediatric Dentist as soon as possible. Time is a critical factor when dealing with dental trauma. Generally speaking, the sooner you see your Pediatric Dentist the better the chances of saving your child’s teeth. If your child has a severe injury and loses a tooth, place the tooth in a cup of cold milk or Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (save a tooth) and immediately seek dental treatment. Your Pediatric Dentist will be able to determine if your child’s tooth can be implanted and saved.
Pediatric Dentists are specifically trained in their residency to evaluate and refer your child to an orthodontist at the appropriate time. Referring children at the correct time can give the orthodontist the best opportunity to achieve exceptional results.
Yes, dental X-rays are safe and are ordered by your Pediatric Dentist only when appropriate. Without X-rays your child’s Pediatric Dentist will not be able to appropriately diagnose and treat your child’s dental needs. Many parents are concerned about radiation exposure with X-rays but at Children’s Dental Specialty Group we use only digital X-rays which reduce the exposure by up to 80 percent compared to traditional X-Rays. Your child’s Pediatric Dentist can discuss the risks and benefits of X-rays with you.