WHAT IS PEDODONTICS?
Pedodontics is the area of dentistry that aims to protect the deciduous and permanent teeth of children and adolescents aged between ages 5 and 10 and monitor their dentition.
It also aims to treat decays, traumas, and damages to the teeth originating from genetic or congenital factors.
WHAT IS A PEDODONTIST?
A pedodontics specialist/pedodontist is a dentist who has completed at least 3-years of specialist training in the Department of Pedodontics after graduating from the Faculty of Dentistry.
Pedodontists are trained to meet all treatment requirements of infants, children and adolescents, with the method of approach dependent on their age and physiological and emotional development.
Basically, the primary goal of pedodontics is to prevent diseases like tooth decay before they occur. The foundation of oral and dental health and hygiene related habits are laid during childhood. Therefore, pedodontists aim to provide children with a healthy future, free of tooth decay, using preventive-protective applications and simple protective orthodontic interventions.
For that reason, having regular check-ups by a pedodontist (once every six months), starting in infancy when the formation of first teeth occurs, is the key to having a healthy oral and dental system for a lifetime.
When should the first dental examination be performed?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Pediatric Dental Association have recommended that the first dental examination be performed right after the development of the first teeth (6 months – 1 year). Early dental examination has benefits such as providing the necessary hygiene training, creating a healthy diet and offering maximum protection against tooth decay. If regular check-ups are maintained at intervals determined by a pedodontist, the patient can have healthy and decay-free teeth in the long term.
Things to consider before the first pedodontic examination
There are some important factors for parents to consider before the first examination. One of the most common mistakes made by parents is to say things like, “Don’t be scared, it won’t hurt at all.” It will also be better not to talk about prior experiences in the dentist seat, whether they are good or bad experiences. The most important point for parents is to abstain from scaring their children with the probability of being given injections and having their tooth extracted unless they go and see a dentist. The child and the dentist will talk about what to do and what is going to happen during that first examination, so children should not be given detailed information about procedures.