As a parent, there is a lot to think about when it comes to caring for your children. One of those things is dental care. Palisades Dental Care is a family clinic. We work with patients of all ages from infants to seniors. Dr. Melissa Alter is our pediatric dentist. She strives to provide compassionate, comprehensive care for her patients.
Pediatric dentistry is a field of dentistry relating to oral care in children from infancy through adolescence. This area of dentistry encompasses all aspects of oral care for children, including those with special needs. At the age of 18, a child will transition from a pediatric dentist to a family practice dentist. At Palisades Dental Care, they will not have to leave the practice. We offer dental care for all ages.
Children need to see a pediatric dentist every 6 months for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. The first visit should be scheduled after the first tooth comes in but before their first birthday. Some of the common oral conditions affecting children include:
Gum disease: gingivitis or pediatric periodontal disease
Interruptions to tooth development
Trauma/injury to the face
By establishing healthy dental care practices early on, an individual’s risk of dental issues is significantly reduced.
Are baby teeth important?
Yes- baby teeth are very important- not just for a child’s dental health but for later in life as well. The top reasons for taking care of baby teeth include:
Prepares the way for permanent teeth
Baby teeth, also referred to as primary teeth, are placeholders for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost before they should be, permanent teeth could be misaligned and irregular- especially if the neighboring teeth move into the space where the baby tooth was.
Helps with Chewing
As children transition to solid foods, they get more teeth, and the teeth get stronger. By the time their molars come in, they are capable of chewing tough foods almost as well as adults.
Helps with facial muscle/bone development
Baby teeth are critical for the development of the jaw and face. As primary teeth erupt, the jawbone becomes bigger/stronger and takes the shape that it will retain throughout adulthood.
Helps with speech
The mouth, teeth, and tongue are all important in vocalization. Children begin to speak as their primary teeth begin to erupt. The more teeth they get, the bigger their vocabulary and diction becomes.
Baby teeth symbolize growth/development and as they come in, your child becomes more confident and develops an appreciation for themselves. As they begin interacting with others, healthy teeth are important for encouraging their overall confidence and self-esteem.
Teaches good dental care
As your child’s teeth erupt, you can begin to teach them proper oral hygiene habits. By teaching them early, once they have the motor skills to hold and use the toothbrush, they will have this habit for life.
Prevents cavities in the future
If a child develops cavities in their baby teeth and experiences pain, they will be more likely to improve their oral hygiene habits and reduce the risk of cavities on permanent teeth.
Benefits of early dental care
There are several benefits associated with early dental care:
Teaches parents proper oral hygiene
Detects and corrects malocclusions early
If you have a child that needs dental care, contact Palisades Dental Care today. We have a dedicated pediatric dentist on staff, Dr. Melissa Alter. She is ready to work with you and your child to ensure their mouth stays healthy throughout their life.
At Palisades Dental Care in Dumont, New Jersey, we work with patients of all ages, and often, parents have questions about dental care for their children. Some of the most common questions we are asked include:
Children should see a pediatric dentist instead of a general family dentist because these dental professionals undergo 2 to 3 years of additional training beyond dental school. They have the knowledge and expertise to treat dental issues that are specific to childhood.