I have always been one of those people who loves to get out into the world and talk with other people, but a few years ago, I realized that I had to do something about my smile. My teeth were yellow and unattractive, and it was really discouraging to see how much different my smile was. I knew that I needed to get my teeth fixed, so I started working with a professional dentist to make things right. Within a few short months, my smile was completely transformed, and I knew that I owed it all to my dental professional. Check out this blog for more information about working with a dentist.
Everybody wants their kid to have a great smile, but many people don't approach the job of working with pediatric dental specialists in as serious a manner as they should. Dismissing the importance of baby teeth can lead to significant problems down the road. Here are some factors to consider as you think about your child's oral health.
When to Start
Parents are often surprised to hear that they should take a kid to a professional as early as six months old. If that seems too soon, a good rule of thumb is to visit a dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting. For most children, this will be around one year old. By age two, serious issues may be in progress and going undetected in a child who hasn't been to a specialist.
Why It Matters
It's common to dismiss the importance of baby teeth, given they're going away at some point in the future anyhow. Good dental health in infancy and childhood, however, dictates a wide range of outcomes, including nutrition, speech development and the spacing of the adult teeth that will eventually arrive. Developing an understanding of oral health in early childhood is also critical to forming habits that will last a lifetime.
What a Specialist Does
Pediatric dental specialists are uniquely trained professionals who've had between two and four years of training in the specific challenges that infants and children frequently have during early tooth development. A dentist who works with kids will be able to discuss an array of potential troubles with you, including dental or facial anomalies, bite alignment problems and best practices. You can even talk about bad habits your child may have, such as thumb-sucking behaviors. Childhood dentistry practices are also able to spot other issues, like indicators of early-onset diabetes, by checking the gums of kids.
The largest accrediting organization in the industry is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, typically styled as the AAPD. It offers resources for parents who are trying to find practitioners to see their children. Many professionals will be members of both the AAPD and American Dental Association.
If your child has specific needs, such as an autistic-friendly environment, it's a good idea to ask about accommodations prior to making an appointment. Even if a clinic doesn't offer such care, the staff may be able to point you to one that does.