Pediatric dentistry is focused on establishing early and sustainable dental and oral care for children of all ages, from birth through to adolescence.
Since 2005, the Canadian Dental Association has been recommending that children make their first visit to the dentist either within 6 months of getting their first tooth or by their first birthday — but many parents and caregivers haven’t even heard of pediatric dentistry.
So what exactly is it?
Pediatric dentistry is the practice of dentistry designed specifically for kids of all ages.
It’s for babies who haven’t yet broken their first teeth, as well as for toddlers, children, tweens and teens; it covers the oral and dental health needs unique to each stage of children’s oral and dental health development, from birth to adolescence.
Pediatric dentistry encompasses all the medical expertise of regular dentistry, but also includes advanced training in children’s specific oral/dental needs.
A Lifetime of Prevention
Pediatric dentistry focuses on the crucial first years of a person’s life, and the prevention of decay and disease are central to its mandate.
As such, pediatric dentistry is dedicated to helping kids get into the habit of taking care of their teeth when they’re away from the clinic — by encouraging young patients to develop great brushing, flossing and eating habits to last a lifetime — as well as preventing and treating potential problems early.
A Child-Friendly Practice
Pediatric dentistry provides age-specific medical attention and helps kids learn to take good care of their teeth. But it also focuses on helping them relax in what can too often be a stressful situation for them — time in the dentist’s chair.
Pediatric dentists are experts not only in the science of children’s dentistry, but also in its psychology — part of their medical training involves learning how to make children of all ages comfortable receiving necessary dental care.
Pediatric dentistry involves all aspects of dental care for children of all ages, from babies to teens.
Alongside early care and decay prevention, helping them get into good oral and dental hygiene habits, and monitoring them for proper development, pediatric dentistry is designed to serve special needs children (physical, developmental, psychological needs), as well as conditions affecting bite and tooth alignment and the treatment of these (orthodontics).