It is the branch of dental health that provides health services for the protection of teeth for children and the solution of dental problems in children. This branch is called pedodontics.
What are the Services Provided in Pediatric Dentistry?
Dental health services provided in the field of pediatric dentistry are as follows;
- Keeping children’s teeth under control from the very first teeth
- Monitoring the health of children’s teeth by providing a dental chart to parents
- First dental examination
- Preparing a healthy base for permanent teeth by ensuring the health of the oral cavity during the temporary teeth period
- Fluoride application to teeth
- Getting children accustomed to the dentist
- Dental and oral care lectures and trainings for children.
- Caries treatments.
First Dental Examination
First dental examination is the examination of the first teeth in babies and the checking of oral and dental health. During this examination, a health decision is made about the teeth, and the health status of the teeth that will erupt is estimated by checking at the erupted tooth. If there is a condition that threatens dental health according to this estimation, the mouth is prepared for the new teeth to be erupted with the necessary interventions and measures are taken to ensure that the teeth erupt healthily.
Preliminary Preparation Process for the First Dental Examination
A short preparation period is required for the first dental examination. This preparation process is psychological preparation. The family undertakes the role in this period. The baby must be brought for the first dental examination during the period when it has its first tooth (within 5-9 months after birth). Before coming to this examination, you should definitely communicate well with your child and act normally as you always do in a day. Before coming to the dentist, do not form sentences to your such as “It won’t hurt, don’t be afraid, it’s okay, it’ll pass,” etc. Because even if your baby cannot speak like you, the subconscious mind can perceive these words and your baby might have a thought that the dentist is something to be afraid of. Therefore, you must act calm with your baby. The pre-preparation phase includes these and similar measures.
What is Fluoride Application to Children’s Teeth?
Fluoride application to the teeth is an application made with the purpose of protecting the teeth. Fluoride, which is a kind of mineral found in nature, is applied to the teeth in the appropriate form and dose. In this way, the teeth are protected against bacteria, caries and yellowing. Applications are not painful and are done with a brush.
Caries Examination for Children’s Teeth
Teeth that erupt in children are fresh teeth. Newly formed and newly emerging teeth are vulnerable, therefore they are quickly affected by external influences. Children’s teeth are therefore very prone to decay. In addition, children’s excessive consumption of sugar, sucking habits and milk consumption also cause caries. This is also called bottle caries. Caries are detected with the examination conducted. Detections are made such as how many decayed teeth there are and which teeth are prone to decay. According to these detections, decayed teeth are treated first, and precautions are taken for other teeth against decay.
Tooth filling is performed for decayed teeth. Local anesthesia is applied for the teeth. After local anesthesia, the teeth are carved and cleaned with the assistance of special tools. After these cleanings, the teeth are filled with special filling materials. Filling is done with composite or amalgam fillings. Amalgam filling consists of metal alloys. Composite filling is tooth-colored filling.
How Can Children’s Dentist Phobia be Overcame?
Ninety percent of people have a dentist phobia. This phobia begins at a young age. Because the first examination is often delayed. Delayed dental examinations pave the way for bottle caries and cavities due to excessive sugar consumption. After this stage, children are more afraid of the dentist because their teeth are decayed and they have not visited the dentist before. The reason for this is that the mouth area is sensitive and the dental tools used by dentists. For this reason, the first dental examination should not be postponed even if your child is in infancy, and a background should be prepared in the baby’s mind as an environment that is safe and not to be afraid of.
Parents play a big role at this stage. A dental examination should be described as a normal examination, without spoiling the baby. The approach of the doctor towards the baby and the child is also very important. For this reason, it is important for children to meet the child and family before the appointment and spend some time in order for the child to get used to the environment. In addition, the child sitting comfortably in the dentist’s chair should be left alone with the doctor, and parents should not reflect their fears to the child.
How Are Dental and Oral Care Trainings Provided to Children?
Dental and oral care is very important for personal care and health. For this reason, taking care of the teeth and mouth is a habit acquired in childhood. For this reason, it is very important for children to have this habit.
In this training, doctors and parents should engage in communication, and a training and follow-up process should be carried out together.
First of all, it is important for the child to get used to the dentist and keep their teeth under control with the dentist they are used to. Because children do not like the change of their habits, and the change of the dentist they love and trust may make them upset about this issue. This is one of the most important elements of this stage. First of all, the child’s dentist should explain how important the teeth are on concrete and logical grounds. Because children find things with concrete and logical grounds more reliable. A child who understands the importance of teeth becomes more interested about dental and oral care. After this awareness is formed, the child will be more eager for this habit with a toothbrush and paste to be gifted by the family and the dentist, and the doctor will explain how to brush the teeth in a fun way. Afterwards, the duty of the family is to sustain awareness of dental care created by the doctor at home. The most important thing that can be done in this regard is to brush the teeth together in the morning, noon and evening in order to set an example for the child. The child, who sees the parents brushing their teeth as well, makes a habit of brushing teeth, which is the most important thing in terms of dental health, because they see the same behavior in their parents, whom they consider as role models.