Pediatric Dentistry: The Suitable Dental Care for Children

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Pediatric dentists are skilled in examining and treating kids in a way that makes them feel at ease. They use specialized methods and treatments, designed just for kids. 

A pediatric dentist has the knowledge and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. When your child’s pediatrician suggests a dental checkup, you can be sure that your child’s dentist will give your child the best care possible.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are committed to children’s dental health from infancy to adolescence. They have the training and knowledge necessary to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout childhood.

Baby teeth erupt in children throughout the first six months of life. They begin to lose their primary teeth at 6 or 7, and secondary, permanent teeth eventually replace these teeth.

Without proper dental care, children may develop oral diseases and decay that could result in discomfort and issues for the rest of their lives. For example, a disease called early childhood dental caries is five times more common in kids than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Also, about 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one decaying tooth that hasn’t been taken care of.

Why Children Should Visit a Dentist

Overall health is significantly influenced by oral health. This is because bacteria are abundant in the mouth, which serves as the body’s gateway. Dental practices, such as brushing and flossing, keep excessive bacteria under control and shield the body against diseases.

Kids dentists emphasize to parents and children the value of forming lifelong healthy habits. Additionally, they specialize in helping children with unique healthcare requirements and identifying and treating disorders in newborns, children, and people of all ages.

Expectations While Visiting a Children’s Dentist

For kids, going to the dentist is a different experience. Unlike adults, they can’t always sit and comply during a dental examination or teeth cleaning. Pediatric dentists are experts in ensuring patient comfort and are aware of this. 

Doctors advise taking your child to the dentist six months after the first tooth’s emergence, or 12 months at the latest. The length of the initial appointment, which usually lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, and the nature of the evaluation and treatment depend on the patient’s age.

You can anticipate the following during a typical oral examination with a pediatric dentist:

  • An overview of your child’s oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing routines
  • A thorough evaluation of the teeth, gums, jaws, bite, and other oral tissues to monitor their development
  • Teeth cleaning and polishing to get rid of any stains, tartar, or plaque
  • Pediatric dentists don’t take X-rays of an infant’s teeth unless they need to check the tooth’s root or suspect tooth rot. It is advisable to avoid giving X-rays to young children unless medically essential.

Pediatric Dental Preventive Care

Fluoride and sealants are two preventive dental procedures for kids—these two procedures aid in preventing the development of cavities.

Tooth Sealants

A sealant may be applied to a child’s infant (primary) teeth to stop tooth decay if they have deep grooves and pits. However, because semi-permanent teeth are not robust enough, sealants are typically not applied.

Fluoride Treatment

Children who practice good dental hygiene at home are less likely to get cavities. These practices include fluoride toothpaste, two daily brushes, and one daily floss. In addition, it’s critical to seek restorative care, such as fillings or crowns, if a child does have a cavity.

There are two varieties of fluoride treatments:

Dietary Fluoride Supplements

This kind of fluoride treatment is available as tablets. Only kids who drink water with low fluoride levels or have a high risk of cavities should use it.

Self-Applied Fluoride Toothpaste

treatments, such as gels, pastes, and varnishes, can be professionally applied or prescribed.

During professional teeth cleanings, topical fluoride treatments are administered to the teeth to help prevent cavities.

Common Pediatric Dental Conditions

Children of all ages can also develop periodontal disease, dental erosion, and gingivitis.

Dental Erosion

The irreversible loss of tooth enamel is known as dental erosion. Excessive exposure to acidic foods and liquids causes it (with a pH below 5.0-5.7). Permanent teeth are less susceptible to corrosion than baby (primary) teeth. This is due to the primary teeth’s enamel being less calcified and thinner.

Between 10 and 30 percent of kids experience dental deterioration. Treatment is typically not required. Your child’s dentist may advise changes in food, behaviour, and other habits..


Inflammation of the gingival tissues without any loss of bone or attachment constitutes gingivitis. Although dangerous, gingivitis is less common in the early primary dentition (baby teeth). Children have less plaque buildup than adults do, which accounts for this. A pediatric dentist will advise expert dental care, brushing, and flossing for kids with gingivitis.

Pediatric Periodontitis

If you don’t treat gingivitis, it can turn into pediatric periodontitis, a dangerous oral disease that affects the gums and jaw bone. Red, receding, and bleeding gums are typical signs of periodontal disease. Adults and teenagers are the primary diagnoses of this illness. Scaling and root planing are PD treatment options. This procedure involves cleaning the spaces between the teeth and gums (deep cleaning).

What Procedures Are Carried Out by Pediatric Dentists?

Youngsters should regularly use fluoride, especially in the early years of life. Plaque accumulation is reduced by fluoride. Additionally, it guards against tooth loss and decay.

However, more invasive preventive treatments are required if a youngster already exhibits severe tooth decay or other oral illnesses.

Pediatric dental restoration procedures include:

Cavity Fillings

The most popular restorative procedure for kids with small cavities. They can be finished in a single dental visit and are less invasive.

Pediatric Pulp Therapy

Pediatric pulp therapy and baby root canal are used to describe pulp therapy. Pediatric dentists apply this procedure to treat, preserve, and repair a child’s decaying baby (primary) teeth.

Stainless Steel Crowns (SSCs)

Children with severely decaying or improperly formed molars (back primary teeth) can be protected with stainless steel crowns. Pediatric dentists occasionally need to attach SSCs to the front teeth.

Tooth Extractions & Space Maintainers

The removal of a tooth, also known as tooth extraction, is typically brought on by trauma, illness, crowding, or tooth root. The excised tooth is then replaced with space maintainers to ensure the child’s permanent tooth erupts properly.


Specialists who have additional education and training to care for infants, kids, and teenagers’ oral health are pediatric dentists. They can offer preventive dental care and therapy for any potential issues because they know how a child’s mouth develops. A dentist can help prevent problems with oral health later in your child’s life by providing early and proper dental treatment. Make an appointment at Westgate Dental Centre if you’re searching for a reputable pediatric dentist near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to Carrie Madormo, RN, MPH, the author of  Thumb Sucking: What You Need to Know, thumbsucking can be harmful to your child’s teeth if it persists long after the eruption of permanent teeth. While it’s a natural reflex for infants and young children that can provide feelings of security and happiness, prolonged thumbsucking can lead to dental issues such as:

  • Misaligned Teeth (Malocclusion)

Thumbsucking may cause the front teeth to be pushed outwards or create an overbite, where the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth.

  • Altered Jaw Shape

It can change the bone’s shape, leading to jaw misalignment.

  • Speech Problems

Altered teeth alignment can affect a child’s ability to pronounce words correctly. This leads to speech impediments.

  • Roof of Mouth Changes

It may also cause changes to the roof of the mouth due to the pressure of the thumb.

Handling a knocked-out tooth depends on whether it is a baby or a permanent tooth.


Baby Tooth

Permanent Tooth

Immediate Action

Do not reinsert the tooth.

Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket.

Handling the Tooth

Only pick it up by the crown. Do not clean or handle excessively.

Rinse with milk or saline if dirty, and handle by the crown, not the root.

Bleeding Control

Have the child bite on a clean cloth or gauze.

Have the child bite on a clean cloth or gauze.

Pain Management

Use a cold compress on the cheek to reduce swelling.

Use a cold compress on the cheek to reduce swelling.

Tooth Storage

Not applicable, as the tooth should not be reinserted or stored.

If unable to reinsert, keep the tooth moist in milk, saline, or saliva.

Seeking Dental Care

See a pediatric dentist as soon as possible to ensure no fragments are left and for further assessment.

Seek immediate dental attention—ideally within 30 minutes, but up to 1 hour is still viable for reimplantation.

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