Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. It's crucial to instill good oral hygiene habits in children from an early age to ensure they have healthy teeth and gums as they grow.
The CDSA recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. This initial visit will allow the dentist to examine your child's mouth and discuss proper brushing techniques, fluoride needs, and potential risk factors for decay.
Orthodontic treatment can also start at an early age. Some orthodontic issues are easier to correct if they're treated early, even while baby teeth are still in the mouth. An orthodontic evaluation should be done before age 7 to see if braces will be needed.
Prevention is a key aspect of pediatric dentistry. Regular dental check-ups, coupled with good oral hygiene habits at home, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent decay. While many public water supplies are fluoridated, your dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatments, especially if your child is at high risk of cavities.
Dental Sealants: A sealant is a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) where decay often starts. It seals off grooves and crannies that tend to collect food, protecting tooth enamel from plaque and acid.
Remember, while preventive treatments can aid in maintaining oral health, they are not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing.
By educating children about the importance of good oral hygiene, pediatric dentistry aims to set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.