In this edition of “Rudy Says,” we tackle some of the basic topics parents should know about pediatric dentistry. Maybe you haven’t seen a dentist with your child yet, or maybe you have seen one, but you are still unclear about some of the basics concerning kid’s dentistry. This article will provide you with a few of the top things to know about pediatric dentistry and how to best prepare for scheduling a visit. Read on to find out what you can expect if you see a children’s dentist in Lafayette or Indianapolis.
1. General Or “Family” Dentists And Pediatric Dentists Are Not The Same Thing
Should you see a pediatric dentist in Lafayette or Indianapolis, or go to a general or “family” dentist? Not sure what the difference is? It’s simple. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating kids, while family and general dentists treat patients of all ages.
Having a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree means that an individual has completed 4 years of dental training and passed the required state exams to practice as a general/family dentist. Pediatric dentistry is different. A pediatric dental specialist earns a DMD or DDS degree, and then completes 2-3 years of additional training or “residency” at an accredited institution. The added schooling allows the pediatric dentist to gain additional knowledge in oral development, child-specific dental surgeries, orthodontics for kids, psychology and mental development.
2. Kids Get All Of Their Baby Teeth By The Age Of 2-3 (And Lose Them By 12-13)
You can expect your first child’s tooth to come out before their first birthday. By the age of about 2 or 3, your kid will have all 20 of their baby teeth, and will be eating and chewing like a champion!
That won’t last too long, however, as kids usually start losing their front teeth at the age of about 6. As their baby teeth fall out, they are replaced by their adult teeth. The rear molars are the last baby teeth to be replaced, and often don’t fall out until the age of about 12-13.
3. Kids Should Start Seeing The Dentist Earlier Than You May Think
You may think that your kiddos only need to see a pediatric dentist in Lafayette when they get all of their teeth, however, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child should start seeing the dentist much earlier.
How much earlier? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should bring your child to the dentist for the first time when their first tooth erupts, or when they turn one year old, whichever happens first.
This ensures that your child can become familiar with the process of going to the dentist, and that any potential oral health and development issues are identified as early as possible.
4. Establishing A “Dental Home” Is Essential For Your Child’s Dental Health
A “dental home” refers to a pediatric dentist in Lafayette, such as Pediatric Dentistry West, where your child will get the majority of their general and preventive dental care as they grow and age.
Establishing a dental home has a number of great benefits. First, your kids will be able to develop a real relationship with our staff and dentists, which means they’ll feel more safe and comfortable during their routine visits.
Dr. John Bozic and Dr. Zach Bozic can also track their dental health more effectively, and deliver custom-tailored dental care that will help keep their smiles strong and healthy. You’ll even save time and money, since you’ll be able to prevent common dental health issues like tooth decay with routine visits to our children’s dentist in Lafayette.
5. Your Child Should Get An Orthodontic Consultation By The Age Of 7
This may seem early, but it’s a good idea to see a pediatric dentist in Lafayette for an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This is when your child will start losing baby teeth and seeing the presence of adult teeth.
If Dr. John Bozic or Dr. Zach Bozic notice a potential issue with your child’s bite and smile early, they can recommend appropriate steps like phase 1 orthodontics, which will help improve your child’s oral development and minimize their need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
Need A Kids Dentist In Lafayette or Indianapolis? We are here to help!
At Pediatric Dentistry West, Dr. John Bozic and Dr. Zach Bozic provide caring, gentle, and experienced pediatric dentistry in Lafayette and Indianapolis. To schedule an appointment with our team, just give us a call at (765) 463-5437 (West Lafayette) or (317) 271-6060 (Indianapolis).