Where can I find a pediatric dentist near me? Glad you asked. The answer is right here at Kids Healthy Teeth!
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
When you boil it down, pediatric dentists are dental health professionals dedicated to maintaining and improving children’s oral health through their early years and their teens. As certified pediatricians, they have acquired the experience and qualifications necessary to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth, regardless of the patient’s developmental stage.
Children have unique needs, making their specialized treatment considerably different from that of adult patients. Primary teeth are more susceptible to cavities, and they need help in developing a good oral hygiene routine because it is not a priority in their minds.
Children also have radically different behaviors from adults. You can trust a pediatric dentist like Dr. Chen and Dr. Hunter-Griffith, who have extensive experience with children, help manage your child’s emotions, and ease their fears.
Why Is Dental Care Vital?
Keep in mind that primary teeth may erupt as early as a child’s first six months of life. We always recommend you start helping them keep those teeth clean to avoid any decay. Even if you are not considering bringing your child to a dentist during those first months, remember to help your child wash those teeth (but you should stay away from fluoride toothpaste).
Helping your baby’s dental hygiene is essential to stave off any decay. Avoid letting your child suffer from any decay during infancy; around 40% of children in the US aged 2 to 11 suffered from some type of decay.
By age 6 or 7, children start to lose their first set of teeth, and you will notice their permanent teeth erupting. Without proper dental care and guidance, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications.
Children who lose primary teeth prematurely are at an increased risk of developing orthodontic problems, speech development complications, and even breathing problems.
Today, early childhood dental caries remain one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in children. Dental decay is an infectious disease that is five times more common in children than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
Why Should I Choose a Pediatric Dentist Near Me?
Most people understand that it is a good idea for adults to visit the dentist for regular checkups. But when it comes to taking children, there’s a lot of confusion.
When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time? How old should they be on their first visit? And why is it a good idea to come to a pediatric dentist, like Dr. Chen here at Kids Health Teeth, instead of just a regular practitioner?
You might want to take a look at this study from 2004. When a group of researchers compared young patients undergoing dental treatments, those who started their treatments later ended up requiring, on average, nearly four times as many more interventions than those who began treatment at a younger age.
So consider taking your kid to a pediatric dentist as an investment that improves your child’s dental health and reduces the overall costs of maintaining their good dental health.
You might also like to know that pediatric dentists design the feel of their offices with your kid as their priority. We have designed and built our office for kids. Children coming to Kid’s Healthy Teeth can find fun games and things to explore that are usually missing from a general dentist’s office.
Pediatric dentists are also specially trained to help younger patients feel at ease before, during, and after treatment. A professional’s training in pediatrics will change everything, from their attitude towards the patient to the tools used during an intervention and the decoration used in their practice.
Pediatric dentists help reduce a younger patient’s anxiety. Considering that over 40% of children can manifest some sort of fear about receiving dental treatment, taking them to a professional who knows what to do to help them feel better and stay healthy seems like the right call.
We like making sure that children are excited about each dental visit!
What’s the Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Family Dentist?
While any dental health professional can help children, not all of them have the training to do so. Pediatric dentists invest years after their general degree in dental health in learning how to help children. Like orthodontists or periodontists, a pediatric dentist has considerable knowledge of a particular area and remains uniquely trained to handle certain situations.
Our intensive pediatric dental training includes learning to manage developmental issues, preventing oral health complications, and performing invasive oral care for kids.
Dental care may prove extensive, but we make sure to make it as least traumatic as possible with specialized tools, environment, and professionals.
Is There Something a Pediatric Dentist Can’t Do?
Yes, there are many things we can’t do. We meant it when we said that there are dental health specialists for several fields. We, for instance, cannot install orthodontic appliances such as traditional braces or Invisalign® clear aligners. We might know a thing or two about why a tooth shouldn’t be crooked, but we would never take it upon ourselves to work on a field that isn’t our own.
Pediatric dentists cannot perform complex oral surgeries like orthognathic surgery to correct mandibular malformations.
Just like there are several things we cannot do, we know there are things we can do better than other professionals out there who don’t have the training and knowledge we spent years getting.
How Do I Find the Best Dental Practice Near Me?
Finding the best dental practice near you doesn’t need to be a challenge. All you need is a dental practitioner specializing in meeting children’s needs, as Dr. Chen or Dr. Hunter-Griffith.
Pediatric dentists aren’t just regular dental professionals who happen to work on children’s teeth. Instead, they have training that helps them manage children who might not want to go to the dentist and provide specialist treatments.
Choose Practices That Focus on Prevention
When looking for a dental practice near you, try to find those offering dental procedures that focus on prevention. Children are at a critical stage in their lives before their adult teeth come through. Establishing good oral health early in the patient’s life is vital to ensure that they don’t develop serious oral health issues later on.
One of our primary goals is promoting good oral health. We like helping children develop a deep appreciation for their daily oral hygiene routines through positive reinforcement. Also, try to find treatments that strengthen your child’s teeth and minimize the risk of dental decay. Treatments like dental cleanings and fluoride applications are excellent for these objectives.
Find Practices That Will Educate Your Child
Second, look for practices that focus on education. The main struggle in dentistry is not the procedures themselves but educating patients and children. Quality dental practices will always take the time to speak with you about maintaining good oral hygiene and looking after your child’s teeth long-term.
For example, Dr. Chen can help your child learn how to brush his or her teeth effectively. She also teaches about the risks of consuming large quantities of sugar. With the right advice, you can prevent or eliminate problems like cavities or rotting teeth and protect your child’s gums.
Teaching your children to do these things on their own can promote a deeper appreciation for their skills, strengthen their sense of responsibility, and improve their self-esteem.
Part of our teaching campaigns includes the publishing of articles like this one you are reading now. We like preparing and updating articles that teach our patients about common dental health issues, how to take care of their teeth, and know a little more about their community.
Choose Dentists Who Offer a Relationship-Based Approach
Finally, look for a dentist near you who offers a relationship-centric approach to dental work. Getting children to go to the dentist and accept treatment is a challenge for many parents. The last thing you want to do is force it, creating a trauma for your child that will discourage them from going to the dentist in the future. What you want is a relationship-based approach where the dentist has the chance to gain the child’s trust before carrying out work on their mouths.
The best way to do this is to go to a dental practice like Kids Healthy Teeth. We focus on building a relationship with your child, ensuring their happiness throughout treatment, and helping them remain enthused about going to get their teeth checked. No child should see a visit to the dentist as something scary.
This issue is one reason why it is so crucial that your child undergoes their first visit to the dentist while they are young. Bringing them when they are 12 months old, for instance, helps them to view going to the dentist as a regular part of life and not something that they need to fear.
Pediatric Dentists Are About Quality, Not Quantity
Not all dentists provide the same care – especially when it comes to providing dental care to children. Some have excellent manners and expertise, while others do not.
Here at Kids Healthy Teeth, we focus on providing pediatric care to children. Dr. Elizabeth Chen is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy and has tremendous experience working with children – something that makes her a top dental specialist.
What makes an excellent pediatric dental service, though, isn’t the accolades of the people who work there but how they interact with children. The procedures are essential, but empowering kids to improve and maintain their oral health is a far more challenging process.
Wrapping Things Up
Many people ask themselves the question, “how do I find the best pediatric dentist near me?” The answer is pretty straightforward: find practices with an ethos that emphasizes prevention, education, and relationship-based dentistry.
These three pillars are essential. If you don’t focus on prevention, for instance, your child could end up with serious oral health issues in the future. Similarly, if you don’t educate, both parents and children can wind up using poor brushing habits. Finally, relationship-based dentistry is critical when caring for children because it helps build trust and encourages them to positively see dental work.
We hope you enjoyed our blog on how to find the best pediatric dentist near me. If you have any questions for our Kids Healthy Teeth team, please give us a call at 281-579-8730 or visit our website to schedule your next appointment with us.