Pediatric dentistry is focused on the unique needs of children whose teeth and jaws are still forming and growing. Dentists skilled in pediatric techniques are able to identify issues in their earliest stages, providing treatment that can help avoid more serious problems while also helping children enjoy better oral health not only during childhood but throughout their adult years as well. A pediatric dentist also provides preventive care including routine checkups, fluoride treatments, and sealants to help children avoid cavities so both “baby” and “adult” teeth remain as healthy as possible.
Yes, today's dental x-ray techniques use very low amounts of radiation and are completely safe for children as well as adults. Having x-rays on a routine basis helps the dentist identify structural issues that may affect the way adult teeth emerge so those issues can be treated in their early stages, helping avoid more aggressive and costly treatments in the future.
Dental sealants typically are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars, sealing any tiny cracks, fissures or openings on the tooth surface so bacteria can't enter while also preventing tiny defects from forming. Dental sealants are brushed onto the tooth surfaces and quickly harden to provide a tough, durable chewing surface.
Fluoride protects teeth in two ways: First, it protects teeth from acids that can cause enamel to wear away, and second, it helps replace minerals in the tooth surface that wear away due to acid exposure and other damage.
Just like adults, children need to see the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Routine checkups are important for children of all ages, helping to keep teeth healthy while identifying and treating issues that can cause pain or affect the health of adult teeth that have not yet emerged. And of course, children with any type of mouth or tooth pain should see the dentist right away.