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Pediatric dentistry: What is it and why is it important?

Pediatric dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that is responsible for studying the oral health of children and adolescents, from birth to adolescence. Therefore, we are talking about professionals who are licensed to address the special needs of children until their development.

Since the eruption of primary teeth begins in the first 6 months of life, and then they are lost at the age of 6 – 7 years to give way to permanent teeth, it is important that during these stages, the child has regular reviews and preventive treatments (or recuperative) to avoid the development of possible anomalies. For, early childhood caries are 5 times more common than asthma and other age-related conditions.

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What is pediatric dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry dedicated to the study of oral health from early childhood through adolescence. In this way, the health professional is in charge of the care of the teeth, as well as the prevention and recovery treatments of the little ones until they grow up.

Pediatric dentistry

This involves monitoring the development of the baby teeth to prevent later problems related to the eruption of the permanent teeth. In addition, it should be noted that this process requires the active participation of the family. It is therefore normal to receive guidance from these specialists for the oral health of children.

Why is pediatric dentistry important?

The appearance of cavities and trauma due to blows and accidents are common in children. As these injuries and/or infections can affect the formation of teeth, pediatric dentists are in charge of restoring or optimizing the infant’s dental health to avoid serious oral diseases.

This translates into prevention and monitoring of tooth growth. Which in turn guarantees:

  • Safety, comfort and ease of treatment when attending to a child’s oral health needs. This includes treatment for broken molars, staining, alterations, etc
  • Education on oral hygiene practices and prevention
  • Factual information on toothpaste products and brushing to maintain dental hygiene
  • Prevention of pathologies and affections
  • Loss of fear of the dentist.

Oral health checkups for children are necessary because they help prevent and correct speech, bite and breathing problems. Hence the importance of pediatric dentistry for the preventive needs of the dental sector in relation to oral health care.

Recommended age for the first visit to a pediatric dentist


The first year is crucial, since it marks the beginning of oral hygiene and with it, the prevention of caries. Therefore, children’s first visit to the pediatric dentist should take place in the first year of life, that is, at the age of 1 year. This is the right age to educate about dental hygiene, hygiene habits and the importance of regular visits to the dentist.

However, there are also specialists with the ability to see babies of 4 and 6 months, with the objective of observing the health of the infant’s gums. But, as we have indicated, the first check-up (considering the dental development) is indicated from the first year of age.

In this first visit, the specialist makes a review of the teeth and gums to detect possible affections or anomalies. For this reason it is advisable to:

  • Visit the pediatric dentist regularly, at least once a year
  • At home, examine the regular shape of the teeth and pay attention to the color, formation, spaces and structure. If caries or other details are observed, go to the dentist for a consultation. This is to rule out or detect possible anomalies.

In this sense, educating children is fundamental for a pleasant experience with the professional from the first stages of life.

What problems are prevented by pediatric dentistry?


Thanks to the controls carried out by pediatric dentists, it is possible to prevent the following problems:

  • Caries: Today, we know that approximately 30% of children under 3 years of age can suffer from caries, specifically of the type known as “baby bottle tooth decay”. A condition that children’s dentistry can prevent and eradicate if detected at an early age.
  • Trauma: In the case of fractures or injuries of any dental piece due to blows or falls, the pediatric dentist can identify the problem in time to subsequently solve and avoid serious complications in adulthood. Consequently, this also includes risk mitigation and treatment for gum conditions.
  • Congenital disorders: The screening system also allows early diagnosis and health optimization for congenital oral problems. Whether structural or pathological.

Trends in pediatric dentistry today: How has it changed in recent years?

Indeed, pediatric dentistry has come a long way in recent years. Today, the latest trends speak, for example, of CPP-ACP technology and top-quality remineralizers that aim to reduce the incidence, prevalence and damage caused by infections. This makes it possible to offer less aggressive alternatives when treating dental pieces.

Sedation in children’s dental treatment

Another intelligent option in the face of technological advances in the dental sector and in response to the needs of the professional, and in order to prepare and reassure children, is the technique of sedation in children’s dental treatments, which, unlike general anesthesia, reduces anxiety and discomfort of the child at the time of proceeding with dental practices:

  • Reduces the child’s anxiety and discomfort when proceeding with dental practices. All without the need for needles.
  • It offers a relaxing effect that prevents spontaneous movements and favors cooperative behavior.


Sedation also makes it easier for the child to communicate, cooperate and follow instructions during the process. Different techniques are used for this purpose:

  • Nitrous oxide: Also known as “laughing gas”, it acts quickly and painlessly, inducing the child to a state of controlled happiness and euphoria. It is administered through a mask and mixed with oxygen to ensure good breathing during treatment.
  • Oral sedation: More anxious children, on the other hand, require other methods, such as oral sedation. This consists of the consumption of pills and liquids to achieve the desired effects. However, prior preparation is important before resorting to this method, as the consumption of such substances may cause nausea and dizziness during the process.
  • Other sedation techniques: Intravenous sedation, suppositories and nasal sprays. These are rarely used at present.

General anesthesia, on the other hand, is a method that, in children, requires more preparation and a cautious and therefore much longer recovery period. For this reason, the alternative of conscious sedation is used.

These techniques, it is worth remembering, are developed by a dental clinic specialized in the area. A fundamental requirement is professional experience, as well as hygienized, controlled and certified spaces.

Who offers pediatric dentistry?


At SOFDental you will find the best pediatric dentists in Tijuana, Baja California. Our professionalism and specialized technology allow us to meet the demands and requirements of children’s needs, always looking after the safety, comfort and welfare of the little ones.

Contact us and schedule your appointment with us.

Dr Martin

By: Dr. Martín Ramírez
Dental Surgeon at SOFDental.

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