Choosing between a general and pediatric dentist

by MikeMeehan 2/14/2019 8:35 AM

When looking for a dentist for your children, it can be tough to know who to see. Should you search for a general family dentist or would your children benefit from pediatric care? You can’t go wrong either way, but it’s good to have all the facts before you make a decision. SimilaritiesBoth accredited general and pediatric dentists have the training necessary to offer a high level of care to children. If you have an existing relationship with a family dentist you trust to provide quality care, that dentist can be a great option for your littlest family members.  DifferencesWhile general dentistry training covers dental care for children, pediatric dentists spend at least two additional years studying how to care for younger patients. Once they have completed their training, they provide primary and specialty care for children only. As a result, they have smaller equipment specifically designed for children’s mouths. These are especially helpful when children need more complicated dental care such as root canals. Special needsPediatric dentists are also a great option for addressing certain needs children may have. Some kids have particularly high levels of dental anxiety. While general dentists often provide assistance with this anxiety, pediatric dentists may be specially equipped to reduce anxiety for children with toys or music that help them relax. They’re also trained to provide care for children with special needs like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, learning disabilities and others. These conditions can be associated with dental problems such as gum disease, so oral health care is especially important. Dental benefitsIf you’ve decided to visit a pediatric dentist, learn how your dental benefits apply. Some plans limit referrals to specialists or may require you to have a referral from your general dentist. Others allow families to maintain a pediatric dentist as their primary dentist. Check your plan to make sure. In any case, visit a specialist that participates in your plan’s network. Delta Dental’s website allows you to search for in-network specialists close to you. Whether you choose a general or pediatric dentist, scheduling the first visit early is crucial. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all babies see the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth but no later than their first birthday. Keep your children smiling into adulthood by finding a dentist you trust today.

The role a dentist plays in your child’s oral health

by MikeMeehan 1/23/2019 8:54 AM

Schedules may get hectic with school, extracurriculars and homework, but making it to the dentist is always worth it. Dentists play a central role in children’s oral health that goes beyond checking teeth for cavities.  The most obvious benefit dentists provide is preventive care through regular exams and cleanings. During these appointments, dentists or hygienists remove plaque and tartar to prevent the formation of cavities, which is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. For additional cavity prevention, they can place sealants on teeth that have the highest risk for tooth decay. This preventive care and consistent monitoring help dentists prevent or curb the effects of dental threats like thumb sucking, teeth crowding, fluorosis, neglecting oral health and more.  Dentists are a meaningful part of educating kids on proper oral health habits. While smile maintenance might be straightforward to adults, children have to learn it all from scratch. Dentists understand how their cognition develops and how to properly explain dental care principles in kid-friendly language. They can help convey the importance of brushing, flossing, eating healthy and visiting the dentist. And because parents have the most important role in establishing healthy smiles, dentists advise them on providing proper instruction and how to model good oral health habits. Children’s attitudes toward dental care begin taking shape in early childhood, and dentists can help ensure those attitudes are pleasant. Dentists provide positive reinforcement that creates enjoyable memories of appointments. When the exam is over, dentists often give kids toys or other rewards, and they build a rapport to establish trusting relationships. On the flip side, by preventing cavities and toothaches, the dentist minimizes unpleasant experiences, helping children avoid anxiety toward dental appointments. Finding a dentist you trust early on and maintaining regular visits is an important part of a child’s dental care. It not only helps teeth stay healthy, but it also teaches children the proper way to take care of their smile for years to come.  

Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety: Tots, Teens and Ages in Between

by Jason 2/24/2015 8:00 AM

Is your child frightened at the mere mention of a dentist appointment? It’s common for children of all ages to fear a dental visit.... more...

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