The pediatric dentist is a child’s best friend. If the truth were known, he or she is probably the parent’s best friend. The pediatric dentist has one specialty if no other, which is he or she understands how to work with children in a difficult profession. Adults do not like visits to the dentist and children, no doubt, like it less. But the pediatric dentist has taken specialty courses, such as child psychology and management, to learn how to work with children.
These dentists emphasize gaining the trust and confidence of a child. This is done by various communication styles and rewards. The office is generally designed in a unique way to make it a fun exciting place to come and visit.
It is important to teach the children preventive dental habits and reward them with a new fun toothbrush, dental floss and little reminders for them to brush their teeth.
Specialty of Special Needs Children
The pediatric dentist can acquire special training to do oral surgery but often the specialty that they choose is in other fields. One of those fields is to specialize in the dental care of special needs children, such as children with autism, mental retardation, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.
These special children often need more dental work than is customary, and the special needs aspect presents a new set of skills for the pediatric dentist. These skills include patience and learning how to best communicate. The special needs child also has more prevalent dental problems. They are more likely to have gum disease and missing or mal-formed teeth.
The amount of medication the special needs child is on usually is higher. This has the potential of damaging the enamel on the teeth. Other children may be required to have a soft diet, which will present its own set of problems for teeth.
The special needs child may be limited in his or her ability to brush and floss his or her own teeth. In that case the pediatric dentist will need to give instructions to the parent to do everything possible to maintain stable dental health.
Noises are often an issue with special needs children as well. So if the child needs to have drilling done during the visit, the child can put on headphones and listen to his or her favorite tunes.
If the child is unable to spit when brush his or her teeth, fluoridated water can be used rather than toothpaste.