Growth Assessment and PlanningAsheville, NC
Early growth assessment and planning regarding your child's teeth allows our pediatric dentist to predict possible issues that can affect the way the child's teeth and facial structures develop. It also allows the dentist to detect any abnormalities in the child's mouth that are already present. Pediatric dentists typically recommend bringing your child in for growth assessment and planning before they reach the age of one.
A child is old enough to see a dentist once their first set of teeth begin to erupt. The earlier a child is taken to a dentist, the more familiar they become with the idea of going to the dentist. As a result, the child is significantly less likely to deal with dental anxiety as an adult.
Call us at 828-417-3828 to schedule an appointment and begin developing a customized growth and assessment plan for your child's oral health.
Visiting Us for Growth Assessment and Planning
A pediatric dentist is an oral professional that specializes in the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. It involves monitoring the growth and development of the child's facial structures, looking for signs of present issues, or those that might develop in the future. Pediatric dentists are also trained on how to deal with mentally or physically compromised children and their special needs.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents and guardians to take children to the dentist before their first birthday. The child should be taken to the dentist every six months or so after the child's initial visit. Getting a child to the dentist early in life provides benefits like:
- Parents can learn about proper oral hygiene for their child
- Preventative treatments that can lower the odds of oral issues developing as the child’s teeth, jaw, and facial structures grow
- The pediatric dentist provides comprehensive oral health care
- The dentist can provide the parent with anticipatory guidance after growth assessment and planning
- Parents can learn the proper diet that optimizes the child’s dental health
- A pediatric dentist can provide referrals to a specialist when needed
- A pediatric dentist can help with dental emergencies
Services Provided by Our Pediatric Dentist
Let us take a closer look at some of the services provided by a pediatric dentist and how these services help with growth assessment and planning:
Dental checkups allow the dentist to evaluate the child's teeth and gums. These evaluations might include a visual examination and diagnostic tests like X-rays. This allows the dentist to detect developing issues before they morph into something a lot worse. It also allows the dentist to detect any problems that are already present. Recognizing dental issues a child is dealing with allows the dentist to perform necessary treatments as needed.
Creating a custom plan for the child's teeth
Growth and assessment planning allows pediatric dentists to come up with a custom plan for the child's teeth that addresses any issues the child experiences. For example, if a dentist notices a child has a higher risk of cavities, the dentist can use preventative treatments like dental sealants to protect their teeth.
Growth assessment and planning also allows the dentist to detect if the child is at risk of developing orthodontic issues as they grow older. The teeth and jaw of children are still growing, and this makes it easier to correct issues that affect the alignment of teeth. According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal age for a child to start teeth straightening treatments is around the ages of 8 to 13.
A pediatric dentist has a variety of tools at their disposal when it comes to improving the alignment of teeth. Braces are the traditional way to straighten the teeth of children since these devices are permanently fixed in place. The child cannot remove the appliance as they wish, so treatment with braces is typically the most effective option for young patients.
However, braces are highly conspicuous devices, and having them on teeth can lead to a child being bullied by their peers. Clear aligners provide a more discreet way to straighten teeth, but the child needs to be disciplined enough to use their aligner trays as recommended by the dentist daily.
Call Us Today
Getting a child to the dentist before their first birthday often leads to a lifetime of good dental health. Call us at 828-417-3828 to visit our Asheville practice to learn more about our growth assessment and planning services for children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?
A pediatric dentist has all the skills a general dentist has and two years of additional training on how to deal with the developing teeth and other structures of children. A pediatric dentist knows how to communicate with children and how to get them to relax. They are also equipped to treat children with special needs.
When should I take my child to the dentist for growth assessment and planning?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking babies to the dentist before they are 12 months old. A child is old enough to see a dentist by the time their first teeth erupt.
Is it easier to correct orthodontic defects in children?
Absolutely. This is due to the fact children have softer bones that are still developing and are yet to harden. As a result, it is a lot easier to correct poor teeth alignment.
When should a child get their first X-ray?
There are no concrete rules for when a child is old enough for an X-ray examination. Any oral issues the child has often determine the dentist's approach. Most children have gotten their first X-rays by the time they reach the age of 5.
Do pediatric dentists help with dental anxiety?
Yes. Simply taking a child to a pediatric dentist early on reduces the odds of them having a fear of the dentist when they are older. Early visits to the dentist help to familiarize the child with the environment, and a good pediatric dentist will make it a positive experience for the child.
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