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Child dentistry or pedodontics is not only a niche specialty but also someone who along with being a good dentist is also good with kids. Children need someone who is not only only knowledgeable but is also extremely patient and gentle. A person the child can trust and is confident to go to.
Once the child developed confidence and starts trusting their dentist, most procedures become easy. A cooperative child can greatly enhance the quality of the dental treatment in most cases. The most important thing to keep in mind while treating a child is preservation of the natural teeth as far as possible. Preventive dentistry is what ends to be stressed by the dentist to both the patient and the parents.
This includes educating the parents on the importance of
- Dietary modifications like limiting the sugar intake in the diet. So why is it important to cut out sweets, chocolates and cakes, why milk should not be given with added sugar or chocolaty powders, why their should contain good sources of calcium, why fibre rich foods are important.
- Parafunctional Habits like thumb sucking, pacifier usage beyond one year, nail biting, tongue thrust Ect. These can affect the growth and development of the jaws and the teeth and cause problems at a later stage. If the parents are made aware of this they can be intercepted and stopped at an early age.
- Home care regimen and stressing on the importance of regular twice a day brushing and flossing. If a good oral hygiene habits is instilled from an early age it pays off for a long long time.
- Regular dental visits : this needs to be stressed on from an early age. If the child visits the dentist routinely every 6 months their fear or anxiety is greatly reduced. So, finally when they need to get a procedure done they are way more comfortable and cooperative.
Along with these the dentist should make sure that the deciduous or milk teeth are treated and preserved. Although eventually these teeth shed but in the meantime they play a very important role that of preserving the underlying bone and act as a space maintainer for the permanent teeth.
There are many dental materials which are available in the market specifically for pedodontic use and can be very beneficial if used correctly. Also if a child has extensive dental caries and infections, than along with treating the cavities it is important put them on fluoride therapy.
Fluoride is an element that can prevent dental decay and caries along-with strengthening and remineralizing the tooth structure.
So to sum it up a good child dentist should be someone who not only treats the dental issues but is also compassionate and knowledgable and has the patience to help both the child and the parents.