New parents have a lot on their mind. While their infant was born without any visible teeth, there are actually a couple dozen teeth lying in wait beneath her gums for just the right moment to appear. Those teeth — while beneath her gums and after they appear — are essential to your child’s growth, health, and development.
Every pediatric dentist in NW Calgary receives questions from new parents about how to care for their children’s dental health, and who they should get involved. We’ll answer some of those most common questions here.
When should oral hygiene start?
Long before your infant can begin caring for his own (eventual) teeth and gums, his parents should begin regular oral hygiene practices. For example, use a soft and small piece of a clean washcloth to gently wipe your infant’s gums every time he feeds.
When should your child first see a pediatric dentist in NW Calgary?
Your child should visit a dentist near you as soon as his first baby tooth appears, but no later than by his first birthday. A baby’s teeth usually begin to emerge between the age of six months and 18 months.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist in NW Calgary and a general dentist?
While all dentists take the same core program of courses at dental school, dentists who practice pediatric dentistry near you take an additional two years of education to prepare them to treat children. The additional education related to pediatric dentistry includes training on:
- Surgical and diagnostic techniques particularly for children
- Special needs dentistry for kids, that might include issues such as cleft lips or palettes, autism, etc.
- Child psychology and development
- Pharmacology for children, including how to deliver and assess dosages for younger patients
- Treating and managing trauma affecting children
- Sedation and anesthesia for very young patients
What is special about a clinic that specializes in treating children?
Your pediatric dentist in NW Calgary understands that many children fear the unknown and, beyond just the unknown, may fear the dentist. The dentist and their staff will use their special training and sensitivity to the needs of children in every aspect of care, including in the setting up of their office.
A dental clinic that specializes in treating children will likely be decorated with colours and images familiar and comforting to children. Staff will be selected and trained to be comfortable with and comforting to children.
Your dentist will use implements, equipment, and furniture that has been scaled to be appropriate for the smaller size of children. The goal of that right-sizing is to make the process as comfortable as possible or, to put it another way, to make going to the dentist less frightening.
What services does pediatric dentistry near you include?
Children are not just miniature versions of adults. They have unique dental needs based on the early development of their baby teeth, their replacement with adult teeth, and the potential orthodontic implications of their physical growth and development. There are eight core sets of services that comprise a pediatric dentistry practice:
- Preventative dentistry such as teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, and the application of dental sealants
- Examinations to identify the risk of tooth decay and cavities
- Treating any tooth decay and cavities identified in examinations
- Advising parents of best practices when it comes to nutrition to ensure healthy tooth development=
- Responding to dental emergencies such as injuries to teeth in roughhousing or sports
- Identifying any early signs of potential orthodontic issues and developing early treatment options
- Watching for dental conditions which may indicate the presence of underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiac issues
- Making recommendations for dealing with the child’s habits with potential tooth-related implications, including thumb and tongue sucking
If you have any other questions about your infant child’s early dental care, reach out to a pediatric dentist in NW Calgary. We’re eager to answer every question you have and — when the time is right — to meet your infant to support his lifelong dental development.