A pediatric dentist provides many dental treatments to children, ranging from routine dental care – such as cleanings – to X-ray examinations and working to determine if a child’s jaw and teeth are developing properly. For most pediatric dentists, there is a lot of emphasis on preventative dental care. This is because early intervention and proper dental practices can make a child much less likely to develop dental problems – such as cavities or occlusions – as they progress into adolescence and then adulthood.
Your child’s pediatric dentist will likely spend a lot of time with your child, teaching the child how to properly care for their teeth and gums. This dental education – at an early age – can stay with a child for a lifetime, establishing regular, healthy dental habits such as flossing and proper tooth brushing. The pediatric dentist may also choose to perform procedures such as tooth sealants, which work to prevent cavities.
There is a misconception that baby teeth are not important. However, these tiny teeth serve the function of eating, speech, and appearance. These teeth also hold the space for the permanent teeth so that they are more likely to grow in the right position. Some baby teeth do not fall out naturally until age 12. Since the enamel on a baby tooth is thinner, a cavity may spread quickly. If a tooth is badly decayed, it can cause infection, pain, and damage to the permanent tooth. It is important to restore baby teeth as soon as a cavity is first detected.