Pediatric Development: Why the First Year is Important
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Dentistry, Orthodontics, Orthodontist
The rate of development for children between birth and one year is astounding. Our little ones go from napping almost all day waking only to eat to developing motor skills, more complex eating abilities, erupting teeth, and learning to walk and utter their first words!
So much of the first year of development is closely tied to the comfort and health of a child’s mouth. Therefore, it is critically important that parents have a strategy for caring for their child’s mouth right from the very beginning. At the latest, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a dentist see a child by 1 year of age. However, many parents see teeth arriving in their children well before age 1 and it is appropriate for infants to be seen at that time for education and troubleshooting.
Laura Wilson Etter, who wrote an article about child’s teeth, said that a “dental home” must be established between the patient, dentist and parents that creates a coordinated and family-oriented environment. This “home” provides a comforting area for experts in the field to properly address concerns and prevent mouth health problems before they develop.
Pediatric dentists have additional training the management of children’s dental development, making them authorities on the necessities of children: cavity prevention, behavioral guidance, parent education, eruption and development, sedation dentistry and special needs dentistry.
Working with patients with special medical needs is a large component of a pediatric dentist’s job as they are frequently the only dentists in a community capable and willing to handle the special needs of these patients. A number of patients have issues (anxiety, behavioral/developmental concerns) that require a different level of care and guidance. Our pediatric dentists have the training to properly monitor and care for such patients.
When a pediatric dentist is introduced to any patient in his or her first years, it can create a special bond with trust from an early age. The dentist, patient, and the family all become familiar with children’s dentistry, the office, the staff and with everyone on the same page, future dental visits become something children look forward to instead of dread. Because the care at our office is so consistent, children know what to expect and find comfort in the routine.
The AAPD recommends that children see a dentist every six months, just like adults. This is especially important as tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease among children. 42 percent of children between the ages of two and 11 are affected by tooth decay, with children 2-5 making up more than a quarter of those statistics.
Having healthy teeth is a vital aspect of our health and wellness and is a meaningful part of our physical appearance. When a young child is introduced to a pediatric dentist in an effort to keep the teeth and mouth healthy it can create a bond of trust for children to lean on as they learn to incorporate visits to the dentist with a healthy lifestyle.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Delaney, Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. The pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults, including being an Invisalign preferred provider. The ability to treat all special needs patients reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy. Valued hospital affiliations allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children's Hospital when needed.
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI 48038
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