Pediatric dentistry is the field of dental medicine dedicated to oral health of babies, children and teenagers, in which the main objective is the prevention and treatment of problems in the oral cavity, so that children can reach the adult age with a healthy, esthetic and functional mouth.
Temporary or deciduous teeth, usually designated as milk teeth, are as important as permanent teeth. They allow the child to chew correctly, stimulation for the ideal growth of the face and maintenance of the necessary space for the permanent tooth eruption, also presenting an important esthetic function which stimulates the child’s self-esteem. The first appointment shall occur ideally after eruption of the first teeth.
Besides the early oral exam, this first appointment intends to provide parents with all the necessary orientation regarding diet, oral hygiene and Fluor, in order to promote the correct development of the dental arch and it decreases the risk of dental diseases through a preventive program.
It is fundamental to stress the importance of this first contact, as well as, routine appointments to confer the opportunity of building with the child a relationship of trust awakening positive attitudes, avoiding psychological difficulties related to dental medicine.
A Pediatric Dentist, doctor specialized in this area, knows and develops techniques that support this approach in the most pleasurable way possible. The best possible treatment is based on a mutual relationship of trust between the doctor, the child and the parents. Preventive treatment is in fact the best we can offer our kids.
Prevention in oral health is efficiently recognized, this is, oral pathologies are, among the diseases that affect populations, those that can more easily be avoided.
Several primary prevention measures are adopted and stimulated by the pediatric dentist and include the motivation and instructions for oral hygiene, namely through tooth brushing with an efficient removal of the bacterial plaque, topic Fluor application leaving up to the pediatric dentist to evaluate and decide whether or not there is need for Fluor supplements, application of fissure sealant, in order to avoid bacteria and food scraps to accumulate in difficult access areas of the teeth, preventing cavity occurrence; the establishment of a balanced, healthy and cariogenic diet and regular visits to the dentist. The adoption of good oral hygiene habits is fundamental in order to become an adult free of cavity disease and with the minimum of interventions possible through lifetime.
Thereby, the parents’ role in the child’s oral health is preponderant. They help in encouraging a positive attitude, they increase the chance of the child becoming an adult without dentist phobias, reducing the need of more complicated treatments, potentially generators of fear and anxiety.
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Opinion article from Dr. Manuel Pinto de Almeida Read Dr. Manuel Pinto de Almeida’s opinion article published in the newspaper “Jornal de Notícias”: "Currently oral health is an important problem of public health. Good oral health is associated to the general...