The Basics of Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry, also known as dentistry for children or pediatric dental care, refers to the specialized care of the teeth and mouth in young patients, typically those under 18 years of age. Pediatric dentists have unique job requirements and specialties compared to adult dental care and have to contend with many other issues that can affect your child’s oral health as they grow up. Pediatric dentistry is an important part of your child’s health and development, so it’s important to choose a dentist and team who are experienced with caring for children.

What is Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on children’s oral health. Pediatric dentists and their team members are trained in taking care of children’s teeth and helping them develop a healthy oral hygiene routine. A typical visit includes an examination, cleaning, and teaching about proper dental habits. The American Dental Association recommends that all children see a dentist by their first birthday, at least once every six months until age 16, and then twice yearly after that.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

Pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth and mouths. They ensure that the mouth is healthy, the teeth are growing in correctly, and that any dental problems are diagnosed and treated promptly. A pediatric dentist also educates kids about their mouths so they understand what is happening, why it’s essential to take care of their teeth, and how they can do it on their own.

Why Do Children Need to See a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are trained in caring for the health of children’s teeth and gums and preventing oral problems. They also provide medical treatments and restorative care in a safe and gentle environment. Children are more prone to cavities and other dental issues than adults, so it’s important for them to see a dentist as soon as their first teeth start growing in. This gives your child’s dentist a chance to catch dental issues early on before they become more severe or complicated. After that, make sure your child maintains oral health by seeing their pediatric dentist at least once, but preferably twice, each year.

What to Expect During a Pediatric Dentist Appointment

On your child’s first visit, the dentist will check their teeth and gums, identify any problems, take x-rays if needed, teach your child how to brush their teeth properly and discuss the use of fluoride as a protective factor. Our team at ABQ Pediatric Dentistry will also talk about the importance of diet and nutrition on the development of cavities. The dentist will also examine the inside of your child’s mouth for any concerns. If your child needs treatment for cavities or tooth decay, the pediatric dentist will advise you and your child on the best treatment plan. 

ABQ Pediatric Dentistry is a full-service pediatric dental clinic located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The practice is led by Dr. Audrey Rawson, a board-certified dentist and a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, who is joined by a team of compassionate hygienists and assistants.