Answer: Pediatric dental disease (childhood tooth decay). This disease is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
You may not think of childhood tooth decay as a disease, until you recognize its consequences. Unchecked pediatric dental disease can:
You can help prevent childhood tooth decay (and a host of other oral health problems) by simply taking your child to the dentist beginning at an early age. Children should begin regular dentist visits when they are between six months and a year old. Pediatric dentists can check to make sure that babies’ mouths are healthy, and that their teeth are coming in properly. Another benefit: children who regularly see dentists learn to be comfortable around dentists and to take good care of their teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children who begin dentist visits early in life are more likely to have a good attitude about oral health providers and dental visits.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,pediatric dentists provide an array of treatments that include:
Though all of our general dentists work with older children, our pediatric dentists (who are only available at certain locations) receive an extra two to three years of training. They learn about baby teeth, about children’s health issues, and perhaps most importantly, about child psychology. They understand how children think and feel so they can make their small patients comfortable and relaxed during an exam or treatment.
Depending on who you ask, a child’s first set of teeth may be called milk teeth, baby teeth, deciduous teeth, temporary teeth, or primary teeth. If a baby is born with teeth (this occurs in about one in every 2,000 to 3,000 births), those pearly whites are called natal teeth.