Why Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

It may seem simpler to take your child to your own dentist, but there are many immediate and even lifelong benefits of choosing a pediatric dentist.

Why should I bring my child to a pediatric dentist?
It’s true, most children visit general dentists, but a pediatric dentist is better suited to put children on the path to good oral health. The dentist office can be an intimidating place for a small child, which is why pediatric dentists are often trained in child psychology, so that they can help to put children’s minds at ease and make them feel more comfortable when visiting the dentist.

Pediatric dentists also focus on parent education. Since parents are the ones who should be maintaining their child’s oral hygiene routine through the first few years, it’s important for parents to be taught how to properly maintain their child’s oral health and to look out for early warning signs of potential problems that may arise.

There are also certain dental problems that pediatric dentists are better suited to address in children, such as dental developmental difficulties and root canals on adult teeth that have not fully formed.

What is a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is centered on providing primary and preventative dental services for infants and children through adolescence. To become a pediatric dentist, a dentist must complete a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry after receiving their dental degree. These residencies often include courses on child development and child psychology. A large part of a pediatric dentistry residency is spent in clinical environments treating and observing the treatment of children.

Pediatric dentists are taught to modify and adapt general dentistry practices to the unique needs of infants, adolescents, and those with special needs. They also focus on supervision of proper dental development, preventing tooth decay, and sedation.

When should my child first see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you schedule your child’s first dentist visit at the appearance of the first tooth or around the child’s first birthday. After the first visit, you should schedule follow up visits to the dentist every six months to monitor your child’s oral health and development. Dental problems often start early, so it’s important to maintain regular appointments to prevent or address any oral health problems that may arise.

Why is it important to protect and treat (temporary) baby teeth?
Primary teeth are integral to the development of permanent teeth. The root structure of the primary teeth gives way to properly align and space permanent teeth as they develop. The enamel of primary teeth is less densely mineralized than the enamel of permanent teeth, making them more susceptible to caries and cavities.

Cavities in primary teeth present a risk to the newly formed permanent teeth. When permanent teeth first appear, their enamel is fully formed, but the surface remains porous until the tooth is adequately mineralized. Cavities in the primary teeth provide reservoirs for bacteria to thrive, which can easily attack the immature enamel of the new permanent teeth.

Pediatric dentistry now in Port Jervis

We’re proud to announce that we have added pediatric dentist, Nicholas Katchen, DDS, to our team. Dr. Katchen is dual certified in pediatric dentistry and dental anesthesia for patients of all ages. Dr. Katchen also has training in treating patients with special needs. If you have a child who would benefit from a pediatric dentist, schedule an appointment with us online or call (845) 610-6730.