What Ages Do Pediatric Dentists Treat?

Hudsonville Kids DentistsPediatric dentists are specially trained to treat babies, children, and teenagers up to age 18. We recommend your child see our Hudsonville pediatric dentist for specialized care while they’re still growing.

Unlike a general dentist, a pediatric dentist undergoes at least two extra years of training after dental school to learn how to work with children and those with special needs. Continue reading to learn how our pediatric dentist helps children maintain healthy smiles as they grow older.

Benefits of Seeing a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists like ours understand the behaviors of children as they treat them daily. This means we understand how to approach their care in a way that doesn’t frighten or confuse them. After all, our Hudsonville office is sometimes the first dental office they’ve been in so it’s common for them to feel overwhelmed.

The main advantages to taking your child to see our pediatric dentist are:

  • They’ll learn how to behave at their appointment through positive reinforcement (i.e., receiving praise for sitting still or following instructions).
  • Procedures and treatments are explained beforehand in easy-to-understand language.
  • A friendly, soothing tone is prioritized to build trust and put patients at ease.

Ages Treatable By A Pediatric Dentist Include:

Babies (Up to 1 yr.)

The American Dental Association recommends you take your child to the dentist for their first appointment soon after they get their first baby tooth and no later than their first birthday. In addition to preventive care, our pediatric dentist is able to diagnose tongue tie if you notice your baby has a band of tissue restricting their tongue’s movement.

Tongue tie is a condition present at birth where a strip of tissue connects the tip of your child’s tongue to the base of their mouth. This can affect their ability to speak and eat properly.

Common signs of tongue or lip ties in young children are:

  • Impaired speech.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Decreased mobility of tongue (can’t move side to side or toward roof of mouth).
  • Trouble licking certain foods i.e. ice cream or lollipops.
  • Inability to stick tongue out.
  • Breastfeeding or latching issues.
  • Problems making certain sounds.

You know your child best so if they are exhibiting any of the signs listed above, don’t hesitate to bring them into our Hudsonville dental office. Our pediatric dentist will be able to refer your child to the appropriate specialist for tongue tie surgery, or frenectomy.

Toddlers (1 – 3 yrs.)

A pediatric dentist is your partner in helping your child learn healthy oral hygiene habits. For example, our pediatric dentist can help your child learn the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily to keep the “sugar bugs” (plaque) away. We understand how to communicate with children in a way they understand so they can develop a positive oral health routine early in life.

After your child’s first appointment with us, they’ll need to continue seeing our pediatric dentist every 6 months for a teeth cleaning and oral examination. It’s not uncommon for toddlers to be apprehensive about going to a new place and having a stranger examine their teeth.

Fortunately, our pediatric dentist has years of experience working with children to help ease dental anxiety. We even offer laughing gas, which is safe for patients of all ages.

School-Age Children (5+ yrs.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting American children. Fortunately, our pediatric dentist can help prevent tooth decay so your child can enjoy a healthy smile.

Our pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants to cover the biting surface of your child’s back teeth. That way, plaque and food particles won’t be able to hide where it’s harder for your child to reach with a toothbrush. This is just one of the many ways our pediatric dentist looks out for your child’s oral health.

Teenagers (13 – 18 yrs.)

Certain oral health needs are unique to teenagers. For example, your teenager may be more likely to snack throughout the day and may be forgetful when it comes to brushing their teeth or flossing. This could increase their risk for tooth decay and gum disease from plaque buildup.

If your teen participates in a contact sport, they may also have a higher risk of having a dental emergency due to impact to the face. Our pediatric dentist understands these concerns and will be sure to talk to your teen about their risk factors for injury or tooth decay during their next appointment.

Meet Our Pediatric Dentist Today

To schedule an appointment for your child to see our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville , MI, call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039. We can’t wait to see you here!

This blog post has been updated.