The term “dental home” when applied to pediatric dentistry, describes the relationship between patient, dental professionals and family members in a combined effort to establish a plan for good oral health care during the childhood years and beyond.
A pediatric dentist has worked to attain the skills particular to the care of the various stages of development in a child’s oral health. His years of study have taught him that the sooner the child is involved in a planned program comprised of good home habits and regular professional attention the better his chances are for enjoying a lifetime free of serious dental issues.
An essential job of the pediatric dentist is to inform parents on the importance of early childhood preventive care. The significance of “baby teeth” is often ignored. Most people think that since they’re only temporary and will eventually fall out anyway, there’s no reason to worry about taking care of them. Actually, this first set of primary teeth allows a child to speak clearly, chew his food properly and show off that smile that makes family pictures so special.
Baby teeth play another important role in the development of a child’s oral health if they can stay in place long enough for the permanent teeth to fully develop before they erupt. If however, the baby teeth are lost prematurely there’s a better chance that the permanent ones could be misaligned.
Poor dental care habits can lead to problems in school and social situations. Children can have issues with self esteem as well as adults and being ashamed to smile or take part in class discussions because of an oral health issue can lower their level of confidence. In addition, lost school time due to the need for extensive dental treatments can put a child in the stressful position of having to play catch up with his school assignments.
Dr. Patterson of Epic Dentistry for Kids in Aurora, CO encourages parents to be active participants in the prevention plan for pediatric oral health care.