Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dental medicine that focuses on preventive and corrective dental care and oral health for children. I t is also known as pedodontics. This discipline focuses on pediatric/ adolescent growth and development, disease causality and prevention. Pediatric dentistry is different from adult dentistry because children and adolescents are growing and consequently, their mouths are changing. In addition, this type of dentistry focuses more on teaching healthy habits; adapting procedures for the needs of children and supervising oral health as the kids develop.
One of the most important aspects of this field of dentistry is to teach children the importance of healthy teeth. Subsequently, much effort is put into preventing tooth decay and teaching habits and behaviors that prevent decay and gum disease. Indeed, many scientific studies indicate that poor oral hygiene can be related to poor social relationships, poor school performance, and issues with self esteem and confidence. Not surprisingly then, pediatric dentists are experts in communicating with children regarding eating habits and how they affect your teeth, brushing and flossing, and general oral care.
Pedodontics relies on a wide range of disciplines, techniques, procedures, and skills. While many of the attributes of child dentistry are shared with other branches, pediatric dentistry is modified and adapted to meet the needs of children and sometimes individuals with special health care needs. Behavior guidance, care for medically and developmentally compromised patients, and supervision of oral growth are all much more important to dentists of children and adolescents. Furthermore, even the procedures for children tend to differ from adults; pharmacology is just one example of the many practices that are significantly different for adults and children.
A pediatric dentist knows how to deal with minors, how to allay their fears and explain any misconception about oral health, and generally make the young patient feel comfortable. Before the baby develops permanent teeth, they have baby teeth which are prone to tooth decay and all kinds of dental issues. This period lasting 3-6 months is very important as it is when kids begin to develop their milk teeth. Ideally they should learn about carries, methods for caries detection and prevention, the appropriate way of brushing teeth and maintaining all round dental health.
The most important responsibility of pediatric dentists is that they teach children how to nurture their teeth at an early age and hence sets the foundation for years to come.