What is paediatric dentistry?

young child brushing teeth and smiling

Paediatric dentistry focuses on the dental health of children from infancy to the teenage years. Dental specialists called pedodontists perform procedures such as fillings, extractions, and preventative treatments. The role of a pedodontist in Singapore is also to advise parents on how to care for and protect their child’s teeth.

Why should I take my child to a pedodontist?

A pedodontist is a specialised dentist who has received additional training on how to manage and treat children’s teeth. They are also adept at managing a child’s behaviour during consultations and advising on their growth and development.

In addition, pedodontists are highly competent in treating children with special needs. It is important for good dental hygiene and management to be established at an early age, in an environment that builds confidence and trust.

A pedodontist can establish a good relationship with your child from an early age. A checkup every 6 months is standard for children and allows for the early detection of cavities and other dental problems.

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Did you know?

Pedodontists are becoming increasingly popular in an attempt to avoid children developing dental fear. This is reportedly one of the main reasons for neglecting regular dental visits and can result in an increased prevalence of tooth decay and disease. 1

What are the risks of pedodontic treatment?

boy brushing teeth

The only risks associated with paediatric treatment are related to questions of the effects of general anesthesia. If your child requires oral surgery, it is important to discuss the details with your pedodontist. In the majority of cases, paediatric treatment is minimally invasive and largely preventative.

How do I prepare my child for his or her visit to a pedodontist?

Before your child’s first visit to the pedodontist, consider the following advice to alleviate any anxiety or doubts they may have :

  • Role play is a good way of preparing your child for a visit to the dentist. Use a doll and a toothbrush to “play dentist”.
  • Use positive language to describe the upcoming experience.
  • Do not transfer any of your own negative experiences or feelings to your child. Remain calm, relaxed, and encouraging.
  • Prepare some toys and books as a distraction for your time in the waiting room.

What happens during a paediatric dentistry appointment?

toddler's teeth smiling

Your child’s pedodontist is highly trained and experienced in the behaviour and reactions of young patients. During the appointment, your pedodontist will check each of your child’s teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite and check for any potential issues with the gums, jaw, and oral hygiene.

It is also possible that your child may also have his or her teeth cleaned. The role of the pedodontist is also to provide ongoing advice and management of your child’s mouth. You can therefore expect to receive advice on helping your child maintain good oral hygiene practices as well as issues such as teething or thumb-sucking.

What happens after a paediatric dentistry appointment?

After and between dental appointments, you will need to help your child develop and maintain good oral health habits. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s pedodontist for advice.

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[1] Beena JP. Dental subscale of children’s fear survey schedule and dental caries prevalence. European Journal of Dentistry. 2013;7(2):181-185. doi:10.4103/1305-7456.110166.