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
- Ensuring oral health during the eruption of temporary teeth and creating a healthy environment for permanent teeth
- Fluoride application to teeth
- Getting children used 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 and checking the oral and dental health. During this examination, the health of the teeth is determined, and the health condition of the teeth that will appear is estimated. According to this estimation, if there is a situation that threatens dental health, the mouth is prepared for the emergence of new teeth with the necessary interventions and measures taken to ensure that the teeth appear healthy.
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. In this process, the entire role is up to the family. You should come in for your first dental checkup when your baby starts teething (within 5 to 9 months after birth). Before coming to this examination, you should definitely communicate well with your child and behave as you normally would. Before going to the dentist, do not say to your child phrases such as "It won't hurt, don't be afraid, it's okay, it will pass." Because even though your child cannot speak like you, his subconscious mind can perceive these words and in your child's mind, "The dentist is something he should be afraid of." An idea like this might arise. For this reason, you should definitely treat your child calmly. The initial 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
Newly emerging teeth in children are weak and therefore easily affected by external influences. Therefore, children's teeth are very vulnerable to cavities. In addition, children's excessive sugar consumption and milk consumption also cause tooth decay. Tooth decay is detected by examination. The number of decayed teeth and teeth susceptible to decay is determined. According to these results, decayed teeth are treated first and necessary precautions are taken against other tooth decay. Dental fillings are performed for decayed teeth. Local anesthesia is applied to the teeth. After local anesthesia, the teeth are sculpted and cleaned with the help of special tools. After these cleanings, the teeth are filled with special filling materials, using composite fillings or amalgam. A composite filling is a tooth-colored filling.
How to overcome children's fear of the Dentist?
Ninety percent of people have dental phobia. This starts in childhood. Because the first examination is often late. Delayed dental checkups set the stage for baby bottle tooth decay and cavities caused by excessive sugar consumption. After this stage, children become more afraid of the dentist because of their tooth decay and them having never visited the dentist before. The reason for this is the sensitivity of the mouth area and the dental tools used by dentists. Therefore, the first dental examination must be performed at the dentist even if your child is in the breastfeeding stage, and the foundation must be prepared so that the environment in the child's mind is beautiful and not a place to be afraid of. At this stage, parents play a big role. The dental examination should be interpreted as a normal examination. The approach of the doctor and pediatric dentist to the child is also very important. Therefore, it is important to meet the child and family before the appointment and spend some time with the child to get used to the environment. In addition, a child who is comfortably seated in the dentist's chair should be left alone with the doctor, and parents should not convey their concerns to the child.
How Are Dental and Oral Care Trainings Provided to Children?
Dental and oral care is very important for a person's personal care and health. Taking care of the teeth and mouth is a habit acquired in childhood. Therefore, it is very important to help children achieve this goal. In this training, the pediatric dentist and parents must communicate and must train and follow up together. First, it is important for the child to get used to his dentist and to keep his teeth under control with the dentist he is accustomed to. Because children do not like to change their habits, and changing the dentist they love and trust may make them upset. This is one of the most important elements of this stage. First, the child's dentist must explain on concrete, logical grounds how important teeth are to him. Because children find things with concrete and abstract foundations more reliable. A child who understands the importance of teeth becomes more reasonable in taking care of his teeth and mouth. After this awareness is formed, the child will be more prepared to achieve this goal by using a toothbrush and toothpaste presented as a gift from the family and the dentist, and the doctor will explain how to brush the teeth in a fun and practical way. Hence, it is the family's duty to continue raising awareness about dental care. The most important thing that can be done in this regard is to brush the teeth together in the morning, noon and evening and set an example for the child. A child who sees his parents brushing their teeth as well makes it a habit to brush his teeth, which is the most important thing in terms of dental health.