5 Benefits of Using a Just-for-Kids Dentist
- September 6th, 2022
- Pediatric Dental Tips
- Jonathan Campbell
According to the CDC’s Oral Health Surveillance Report from 2019, more than half of children aged 6 to 8 years have had a cavity in at least one of their baby (primary) teeth. Dental caries or cavities is the most common chronic disease in children and often stays well into adulthood.
Getting oral check-ups for kids is extremely important when considering the type of dentist treating your child. Family dentists are kid-friendly and provide services to the entire family. It is wise to consider dentists limited to kids, as they specialize in treating children and focus on them from their first visit until they become teenagers.
The reason many families insist on going to a pediatric dentist is that a kids-only dentist uses tools that are specially designed for children and their teeth. They have kid-friendly themed offices that provide the right type of distractions from a clinical-looking dental office. They are well-prepared for any issues that are specific to anxious kids and have experience in dealing with them.
Babies begin to develop teeth in the first 6 months, and baby teeth start falling when they are age 6 or 7 years. The cavities left untreated during this time often lead to chronic gum diseases that need medical attention throughout teenage and adult life. Lack of proper care can lead to decay and dental diseases that last well into adulthood. Thus, it is vital to get the proper screening done to prevent future dental problems.
What Children-Only Dentists Do
Pediatric dentists begin screening and maintaining a record of your child’s teeth and the treatments throughout their childhood until they become teenagers. Dentists for kids are well-equipped with the training and resources to handle children and professionally address their fears and insecurities before they examine their teeth.
It is also extremely important that your child feels heard and comfortable before they allow the dentist to start treating them for what could be a very intimidating procedure for them.
Here is a list of services that pediatric dentists provide:
- Regular oral health screening and exams
- Teeth cleaning and fluoride treatments
- Cavity and root canal treatment
- Treatment for dental injuries like chipped or displaced teeth
- Treatment for gum diseases
The Benefits of Choosing a Just-for-Kids Dentist
- Specialized kid-friendly tools
Pediatric dentist offices are equipped with special tools for kids. They do not use large tools that can be scary and intimidating for children. Children tend to be more fidgety, and getting a specially trained dentist for your child means that they know how to calm an anxious kid when they throw a fit.
- Well-equipped office for children
Kids’ dentist offices are specially designed to keep children preoccupied and entertained so that they do not get anxious. There are playrooms with toys, cartoons on the walls to make it look less clinical, fish tanks, interactive entertainment options like television sets, and games to keep children at ease during their visits to the clinic.
- Trained staff to handle difficult situations
Most children get extremely terrified during dentist visits and may cry a lot. Dental offices limited to kids have specially trained staff who can handle these situations with ease and are experienced in handling children who need to be pacified first before undergoing treatment.
- Sedation options for parents to choose
Depending on the type of treatment your child is undergoing, you get to choose from different sedation and anesthesia options. Parents can opt for different types of sedatives that they are comfortable with before it is administered to their child. There are trained and certified anaesthesiologists who offer advice on what is best suited for the child based on the dental treatment that they are undergoing.
- A safe and fun environment for kids
Children are highly sensitive and very intuitive when it comes to people and their surroundings. Dental offices for kids have trained staff to make the children feel welcome, along with a safe and fun environment to play in that makes them feel at home during their visit.
What to Look for While Choosing Your Child’s Dentist
Just-for-kids dentists have a couple of years of experience and additional training to specialize in handling children. Dentists specializing in kids will have a bachelor’s degree from a dental school and be certified in Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). A certification from the Commission on Dental Accreditation is also done after completion of the residency program by all practising dentists.
While choosing your child’s dentist, you also need to ensure that he/she is well prepared and trained in handling kids during the treatment. Look for dentists who go above and beyond their role to make the child comfortable, such as:
- Patience and experience with children. Dentists specializing in kids address them in a fun and patient manner, like getting them comfortable and talking to them before moving on to examination.
- Having fun uniforms and tools for distractions. Many dental offices have dentists and staff that wear uniforms with cartoons on them so that it is less intimidating and keeps the kids distracted and occupied.
- Open communication and a friendly approach. Dentists who are experienced in treating kids often keep talking, singing, and laughing throughout the visit to distract the child from any possible trauma or pain during the check-up.
Parents should consider that the child needs to be completely comfortable to be able to allow any check-ups or treatments to happen smoothly. If the child is anxious and scared, it makes it difficult for the dentist to thoroughly examine them and provide the right course of treatment. Hence, many parents go the extra mile and choose a dentist limited to kids.