Babies to Braces: The 6 Types of Dentistry

With Children’s Dental Health Month coming to a close, this is the perfect time for a little refresher on dental care 101.

Dental care starts at infancy, even before the first tooth comes in. The American Dental Association recommends kids start getting checkups at about age one, or when their first tooth appears. To maintain a healthy mouth you should start by cleaning your baby’s gums at least twice a day.

After their first tooth comes in, you should begin taking your infant to apediodontist. A pediodontist is a pediatric dentist specializing in the oral health of children from infancy to adolescence. Taking your child for early dental visits can help prevent cavities and promote good oral care habits.

Once your child graduates from their pediatric dentist, they can begin seeing ageneral dentist. A general dentist provides primary care for the overall oral health of patients. They are trained in a variety of dental procedures and are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of dental needs.

Occasionally, your general dentist may also refer you to other dental professionals for more specialized treatment. A periodontist, for example, specializes in treating patients with gum disease or any injury of the teeth and gums.

If your child requires braces, you’ll be referred to an orthodontist, a dental professional who specializes in bringing teeth, jaws and lips into alignment to straighten and improve smiles. The average treatment is two years, followed by a period of time wearing retainers.

Endodontists are sometimes called root canal specialists because they treat the inside of the tooth, especially if you suffer from tooth decay. Endodontic treatment can be done in both adult (permanent) and baby (primary) teeth. Your child may need to seek endodontic treatment if they have a tooth sensitive to temperature change, pain for no reason, or if they have broken a tooth with exposed pulp.

They might also eventually need a prosthodontist if they break a tooth during sports or by accident. Prosthodontists specialize in the restoration and replacement of broken teeth using crowns, bridges, or removable prosthetics (dentures).

Which dental specialists have you taken your children to? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

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