Dental caries (cavities) is the most common chronic disease affecting children in the United States. It is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians instruct their members to refer children to a dentist by their first birthday. (The American Dental Association recommends the first tooth or first birthday - whichever is first. Click Here to view a short video on your child's first dental visit).
Most dentists and parents prefer for children to be cared for by a specialist. Pedodontists are dentists who have special training to work with patients from the youngest to the late teens.
If a toddler sees a pediatric dentist before the age of 1 and then at 6 month recalls, the parent will know how to prevent tooth decay and the child will be very well adjusted to the dental environment by the age of 2-3. During pediatric training, a pediatric dentist is trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to children. We learn many behavior management techniques. We provide interceptive (early) orthodontics by evaluating growth and development to help minimize or prevent the need for braces in the future. We also provide treatment for sports/trauma related injuries. A pediatric dentist is better equipped to see children with disabilities as well.
A dentist who specializes in the treatment of youngsters may be the best bet both for children who need extensive dental care and those children who may require more care than the average child. Regardless of the extent of a child's needs, however, a pedodontist is the dental equivalent to a pediatrician. While many dentists advertise as family practitioners, the pedodontist works only on children and is singularly skilled in this way.
Those parents who find themselves fighting an uphill battle to get their little ones in the dental chair may greatly benefit from a dentist who is well acquainted with the very common fear of dentists. A skilled pedodontist can work with a child to allay feelings of fear and dread. Similarly, a pedodontist may work with a child's parents, providing "training" that helps them to help their children overcome dental anxiety.
Whether or not a child needs special handling when it comes to braving a dental appointment, a pedodontist still works with the parents as well as the child. Pedodontists help parents understand their part in the dental health of their children. These doctors thoroughly discuss many aspects of total well-being; topics range from dental hygiene to nutrition. Pedodontists also make a point of reinforcing the importance of regular dental visits, which are imperative for a solid foundation that ultimately aids a child in his or her transition to adulthood.
Call Dental Specialty Group at 727-544-5345 to schedule your child's initial exam with Dr. Vales.