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Pediatric Dentistry, also known as paedodontics, involves the care of children’s teeth. From the moment they are born until the end of the mixed dentition stage, there exist a range of milestones that a pediatric dentist must follow.
Birth until 6 years of age: the development of the primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth or milk teeth are closely followed, in addition to the morphology of the jaw.
From 6 to 12 years of age: the dentist will follow up on the changes from the primary teeth to the permanent teeth and their coexistence. The bite and morphology of the jaw should also be controlled.
Over 12 years of age: the dentist follows up on the permanent teeth.
The pediatric dentist is in charge of diagnosing and detecting possible anomalies in the position of the maxillary teeth in the initial stages of development. If they detect anything problematic, they can refer the child to an orthodontist or a maxillofacial surgeon in order to stimulate or slow down the growth of certain bones in the jaw, thus preventing future problems.
Moreover, the pediatric dentist can detect problems and harmful habits in the child’s hygiene or eating to help re-educate them for preventative purposes. They also provide restorative treatments, whether it be sealing fissures or obturations, in the event that they find any tooth decay. This is crucial, because contrary to the popular belief that you needn’t treat tooth decay in temporary teeth, untreated tooth decay in the baby teeth can cause premature loss of the permanent tooth and result in crooked placement of the teeth.
Filling the cracks involves applying a sealant (composite resins) to the gaps and cracks of the tooth, which could cause future tooth decay. For this procedure, a physical barrier is placed to prevent bacteria that causes decay to enter the tooth.
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