What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has gone on in his or her education to complete two years of specialty training in treating children. Both Dr. Potts and Dr. Mahmood are general dentists, not specialists. However, both of them completed training in basic pediatric dentistry during dental school, complete with rotations in pediatric clinics and are qualified to provide the ordinary care that children need. You can feel confident in having them treat your children. If they encounter any rare or unusual situations that will require the care of a specialist, they will tell you and will recommend that the child see a pedodontist.
Dr. Mahmood particularly enjoys treating children and looks forward to helping them develop healthy attitudes toward dental care by making their visits fun. She welcomes them to come in for a dental appointment as young as 6 months old, when their first primary teeth erupt. That first visit may involve little more than letting them get acquainted with some of our equipment and play with the air/water syringe along with letting Dr. Mahmood check over their teeth. But letting them get that pleasant introduction to the dental office can be very beneficial for them.
Dental Care Tips for Parents
- Letting children have a non-threatening introduction to dental care goes a long way toward helping them develop healthy dental habits. It can be very psychologically damaging to the child if you wait until their is a problem before seeing the dentist.
- Treat the child’s first visit to the dentist as a routine event. If you try to coach them about the visit, it tends to telegraph to the child that you are worried about how it will go. They pick up on your signals and this can create anxiety in the child.
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage good oral hygiene habits. Trying to scare them with thoughts of getting cavities can backfire if they end up actually needing fillings. Instead, try complimenting them on how clean and fresh their breath smells after they brush.
Children’s Oral Hygiene
Parent’s should start brushing for their children as soon as their teeth erupt. Once their molars start coming in is time to start flossing for them. This usually happens around age two.
The American Dental Association recommends children be encouraged to independently care for their teeth around age 6 or 7. However, each child is unique in their manual dexterity and diligence. If your child has excellent checkups, that could be a signal to you that you can allow them to be more independent with their own brushing and flossing.
Fun with Dr. Mahmood
Starting when children are about two or three years old, Dr. Mahmood will let them pick a toy from our treasure box at the end of their appointment. They also love getting stickers as a reward for their good behavior.
Some children are naturally more anxious than others. We offer nitrous oxide for treatment appointments. This is a safe way to help them feel relaxed during their appointment.
If you want to bring your child in to see Dr. Mahmood, you may call our office to schedule an appointment or you can schedule an appointment online.