The health of our bodies is inextricably linked to the health of our teeth. The data just keeps piling up. The sooner you establish good dental habits, the longer you can enjoy a health mouth, and a healthy life. The best time to start? As a child. But since kids don’t generally make their own decisions regarding dentistry, it’s up to you, the parent to decide for them. Here are some common questions you might have about pediatric dentists.
“Can a regular dentist look at my child’s teeth, or do I need a specific pediatric dentist?”
Pediatric dentists are, in fact specialist, though some general dentists can do both exams with proper training. Most dental students study children’s teeth as part of their curriculum, whether or not they end up becoming pediatric dentists. Ask your general dentist if they themselves are qualified, or if they have a separate specialist in the office.
“Is it important to take care of my child’s baby teeth, since they’ll fall out eventually anyway?”
Your child’s baby teeth (also called milk teeth) are not merely disposable. Decay can set in and damage the roots, which can in turn damage the jaw if not properly cared for. Decayed or prematurely missing baby teeth can cause the incoming permanent teeth to crowd or come in at odd angles. Lastly, image issues can set in early, especially if missing teeth make your child more reluctant to smile.
“Do pediatric dentists cost more or less than regular dentists?”
More often than not, if you and your child go to the same office, the cost of your child’s checkup will be the same as yours. Dentist prices for cleanings and exams are usually consistent within an office. If you need to travel elsewhere for your child’s dental needs, you could pay more or less, depending on the office you choose.
The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for affordable dental care for children, and future modifications will ideally include low cost dental care for adults as well. This may never include purely cosmetic procedures (for adults or children), but more and more procedures that used to be considered cosmetic — such as orthodontic correction — are now rightfully considered essential for lifelong health and happiness. Learn more about this topic here: www.kansascityimplantdentist.com