Far too many parents are unable to take their children to the dentist. The results of a study by the American Dental Association (ADA) are disconcerting.
Less than 65% of parents brought their children in for dental visits every 6 months. Roughly 25% of parents are seeing the dentist every one to three years. The ADA recommends that children visit the dentist twice per year.
Without regular visits, you won’t know if your child needs specialized care. Some children need to see a pediatric dentist rather than a traditional family dentist.
Read on to learn whether your child needs to see a pediatric dentist. Explore how often kids should see the dentist as well.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
This type of dentistry requires an additional two or three years of schooling. They are also commonly referred to as pedodontists. Pedodontists may work in the hospital or have their own office.
They typically respond to dental emergencies and severe issues. In addition, pedodontists are trained to handle children and young adults with special needs. Certain patients are highly sensitive and require gentle care. Pedodontists are trained to patiently handle this type of patient.
How Do Pedodontists Handle Patients?
It is important to understand that children and even some young adults are fearful of the dentist. They get anxiety which triggers behaviors that are difficult for some dentists to handle.
For a pedodontist, everything from office décor to tone of voice is planned to help the patient. They may paint their office in calm, reassuring colors to help patients relax.
Colors like soft blues and greens promote peace and help relieve anxiety. While a traditional dentist is qualified, they are unlikely to select paint colors to help an autistic child.
Pedodontists also use specific communication strategies to connect with their patients. They frequently use positive reinforcement. Here, the dentist offers praise for positive behaviors like sitting still or opening the mouth wide.
Another popular communication strategy is tell-show-do. This is where the dentist explains in simple terms what they are going to do.
They show the patient the instruments being used. Also, they communicate in a calming tone to build trust with the patient.
How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?
The ADA recommends seeing the dentist for checkups twice per year. For this appointment, patients should receive a cleaning and thorough evaluation. These preventative appointments include X-rays to check for cavities and underlying issues.
Seeing the dentist at least twice per year builds trust. Visiting infrequently adds fear and anxiety to the process as it becomes unfamiliar.
The recommendation for two visits per year is for checkups only. The patient may need to schedule additional visits if there are any dental issues to resolve.
A Recap of Visiting the Pedodontist
Some patients require specialized care and need to see a pedodontist. They are trained to communicate with and put the patient’s mind at ease. With their delicate touch, the dentist promotes good behavior and earns client satisfaction.
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist, contact us today to schedule an appointment.