A “paediatric dentist” is a specially trained dentist who offers child care services. “Children” is generally defined as people under the age of 14, but as far as paediatric dentistry is concerned, we generally talk about the infants. A paediatric dentist undergoes specialised training on both the primary and secondary teeth aspects, as well as the challenges faced in both cases. In addition, a paediatric dentist is trained in child psychology, which helps them perform the necessary tasks on a patient who is both fearful and unwilling to have their teeth and mouth examined.
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A paediatric dentist’s duties involve assessing the patient’s oral health status through an exam, as well as correcting any issues through treatment. This can involve the filling of cavities which can be a terrifying and painful experience for children, necessitating aspects of the dentist’s training in child psychology.
The dentist needs to understand how to keep the child calm and still long enough to perform the procedure needed to restore the patient’s oral health. The child does not understand why they are suffering this pain, and can not be reasoned with like an adult. The following protocols are derived from the study of mentalities of the childhood and how to overcome the reactions that are natural to children.
Another aspect of paediatric dentistry is parents’ education regarding their children’s oral health. As an example, because of the difficulties of doing so, many parents will fail to brush their child’s teeth, combined with the belief that if the child does not eat candy or sweets they don’t need to brush. In reality, there is a tremendous amount of sugar in milk, and because of a lack of care, primary teeth are prone to cavities and infections. If the oral care is lax, cavities may form which have to be assessed to the extent of the severity to see if they cause pain before falling out or if they have to be filled. A paediatric dentist is trained to help parents understand the need for and how to accomplish oral care in children.
If you have a child, make sure the dentist you are choosing is a paediatric dentist to ensure they get the best possible care. Asking for it just takes a second.