Pediatric dentistry (formerly Pedodontics/Paedodontics) primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence. The American Dental Association (ADA), recognizes pediatric dentistry as a specialty, and therefore requires dentists to undertake two or three years of additional training after completing a general dentistry degree. At the end of this training, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry issues a unique diploma (Diplomate ABPD). Although Dr. Sclater and Dr. DeLeon are not Pediatric Dentists, they love working with children and creating positive long-lasting dental memories.
One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology. Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.”
Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences and find their “dental home” as early as possible. We have had enormous success with our Waterlase technology and our pediatric patients. Not every case is best suited for laser technology, but when it is appropriate, it is very successful because our patients do not require anesthesia. We also offer Netflix and nitrous to create a relaxed dental experience. All of our hygienists are experienced in pediatric care as well.
What Do Our Dentists Do?
Dr. Sclater and Dr. DeLeon fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene. They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.
Other important functions include:
Education – Our staff emphasize the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, our dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen. Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay. In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, our hygienists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb-sucking/pacifier/smoking cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.
Intervention – In some cases, our dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted or a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended.