Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dental sciences which is very advanced. General dentistry, on the other hand, only requires five years of study. Pediatric dentistry requires an additional study period as well. During these studies, a pediatric dentist learns how to deal with children more effectively. He or she picks up the finer nuances of the trade of dealing with dental ailments and maladies of children.
What all does a pediatric dentist do?
First and foremost, it is the duty of any good pediatric dentist to talk or counsel children and their parents about the importance of oral health and hygiene habits. These include brushing teeth twice daily and for at least two minutes each time. Also, the pediatric dentist should counsel the children and their parents about the necessity of changing the toothbrush once every two months and of using a good quality toothbrush and toothpaste. Also, they must be told about the importance of flossing teeth regularly and with the use of proper technique. Pediatric dentistry includes talking to children about maintaining their milk teeth. Sometimes children do not maintain milk teeth thinking that these are temporary and will soon fall off. This is an incorrect attitude to take. One should have an attitude of looking after milk teeth in the same way as we do of our permanent teeth. Also, pediatric dentistry also includes talking to patients about eating good food which consists of a certain amount of calcium and phosphorus in their diets. This will help the teeth and bones of the patient to become strong and healthy. The pediatric dentist should also counsel about the importance of visiting a dentist regularly for check-ups. During these, the dentist will screen the patient for ailments like oral cancer and gingivitis. As is well known, ailments like oral cancer can progress to life-threatening proportions, and these need to be safeguarded against. Gingivitis, too, progresses into periodontitis and this is a very troublesome kind of a malady.
Pediatric dentistry also includes counseling patients on the importance of orthodontics. Sometimes children and even adults have an irregular set of teeth. These need to be straightened out since it may result in the child developing a complex since the irregular teeth may become the butt of jokes in front of an audience or other people. Straightening of irregular teeth is done with the help of braces, retainers, and aligners. This kind of treatment comes in the purview of a branch of dental sciences known as orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment is a bit lengthy and time-consuming. In most cases, it goes on for more than a year or so. One should not ideally stop at the use of braces for a given duration of time. One should also go in for wearing retainers for a given duration as well so that the straightened teeth do not slip back into their earlier positions.
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