Regular dental visits are a great way to get your child started on the path toward great oral health for a lifetime, but, at Monarch Dental, we know sometimes our smallest patients need a little extra care. Whether it’s with fun, inviting waiting rooms, friendly staff, or even chairs or equipment that are just their size, creating a positive dental experience for children early on can help set the stage for a positive relationship with oral care.
Although Monarch Dental offers specialized pediatric dentistry at some of our locations, all of our general and family dentists are trained and experienced in treating children. So, no matter which of our convenient offices is closest to you, you can be confident that when you visit Monarch Dental, you and everyone in your family will get the professional, quality dental care they deserve.
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has completed 2 to 3 additional years of training and residency learning how to help treat infants, toddlers, children, and teens, as well as children with unique and special dental needs.
As with most dentists, pediatric dentists focus on helping you and your child build healthy dental hygiene habits. That means they spend most of their time with patients helping them build good and sustainable dental hygiene habits to avoid things like cavities and tooth decay, and they can help provide an early assessment for teeth straightening needs.
Pediatric dentists also have extensive experience in identifying and treating many of the challenges and problems that are unique to children and their developing facial structure, including specialized patient and pain management methods.
Comfortability is an important factor in choosing a dentist. Pediatric dentists and family or general dentists with experience treating children often provide a fun, family-friendly environment that makes both you and your child feel comfortable during visits. They are also a good resource for tips and techniques for building good hygiene habits and addressing common concerns like thumb-sucking and baby-bottle dependency.
At pediatric dental offices, dentists and hygienists have special tools, chairs, and instruments small enough to examine and clean a child’s mouth. They’re also optimized to ensure they clean quickly and effectively, and pediatric dentists and dental hygienists are trained in techniques to ensure your child has a great experience during their routine cleanings.
A dentist with pediatric expertise knows how best to approach your child about things like routine cleanings and learning how to brush and floss their teeth independently. That often includes small prizes or incentives at the end of every visit, simple reinforcements that can make all the difference in how your child views their dental visits as well as their own dental hygiene.
While every child’s development is different, there are some oral health benchmarks your child should be progressing through during their early and adolescent years. A pediatric dentist can provide information and context around how your child’s teeth are erupting and shifting and identify important warning signs if your child’s dental development begins to look irregular.
First tooth. Eruption of the first tooth is typically accompanied by teething behaviors and frequent fussing. You’ll likely notice the irritability before you notice the first tooth.
First set of teeth, known as baby, primary, or deciduous teeth. Your pediatric dentist can let you know when your child’s teeth are fully grown and what to expect during this phase of their development by using x-rays during their routine exams.
First tooth loss. It’s important to have already established a routine with a pediatric dentist at this point. Your dentist can inform you of how your child’s teeth are growing and provide recommendations to an orthodontist if they notice any alignment or overcrowding issues as your child’s adult teeth begin to appear.
Adult teeth. Adult or “permanent” teeth begin erupting between the ages of 6 and 12.
No matter whether you are visiting a pediatric dentist or a general dentist experienced in pediatric dentistry, you should begin the search around the 6-month mark of your child’s life, with the first appointment set around the time of their first birthday. This appointment will primarily be a checkup and initial consultation, where the dentist will perform a list of first-time patient procedures, and barring any issues or abnormalities, they’ll use this time to get acquainted with your child and introduce them to the office.
This first appointment will also serve as an opportunity to get started on your child’s regular bi-annual dental visits, during which the dentist will look for things like cavities and tooth decay, and provide feedback on your child’s dental development.
If you’re looking for a local pediatric dentist for your child or a family or general dentist for your entire family, Monarch Dental has you covered. Our convenient locations are fully staffed with dental specialists and professionals who can help make sure everyone receives the personalized care they need, no matter what age they are or lifestage they’re in. From pediatric care and routine cleanings to braces and bridges, you’ll find it at Monarch Dental.* Schedule your appointment today and get started on a healthier tomorrow!
*Specialties may vary by location, so please check with your nearest Monarch Dental office for specific services available regarding dental care.