While cleaning our bathroom counter the other day, I was overwhelmed with the number of toothbrushes my daughter has collected. Okay, so maybe I don’t have to buy so many for her, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get her to brush her teeth! When I was pregnant, my husband and I would discuss parenting techniques. We agreed that we would not negotiate or bribe her to get her to do what was normally expected of a child, but reality has set in, and I’m finding it almost impossible not to. I now subscribe to Mary Poppins’ philosophy, if buying a few extra toothbrushes and some fun toothpaste can “move the job along” than so be it. I recently learned that it’s recommended that children go for a dental check up before their first birthday. (No way! I ‘m way behind on this!) Here are some other tidbits I learned.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. They receive two to three additional years of training beyond dental school, and are trained in child psychology, behavior control, growth and development and the latest techniques in introducing and providing dental care to children. Pediatric dentists limit their practice to primary and specialty oral care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Recommended Care by Age:
*This is a simplified version and IS NOT a complete list.
- Complete exam
- Provide oral hygiene counseling for parents
- Clean stains or deposits
- Assess the child’s systemic/topical fluoride status and provide counseling regarding fluoride
- Assess feeding practices and provide dietary counseling in regards to oral health
- Provide counseling for nonnutritive oral habits (pacifiers, thumb sucking)
- Complete Caries risk assessment
- Determine child’s interval for periodic evaluation
- Repeat 6-12 month procedures every 6 months or as indicated by child’s risk status
- Provide topical fluoride treatments every 6 months or as indicated by patient’s needs
- Repeat 12-24 month procedure every 6 months or as needed based on child’s risk status
- Scale and clean teeth every 6 months or based on child’s risk
- Provide pit and fissure sealants for caries-susceptible primary molars and permanent molars, premolars, and anterior teeth
- Assess and provide treatment for oral health as needed
I did it! I just scheduled her appointment. If it’s time for your child to see a pediatric dentist and you need help finding one in your area, here is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s national dentist locator.