I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Diya Chadha, a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, who explained to me the importance of taking children, and even babies, for a dental examination.
The reason for these early examinations is not only to look for cavities, but also for the pediatric dentist to have a close look at the whole mouth, the cheeks, the throat and the tongue, in order to rule out any abnormal swelling or lumps in the mouth as well as helping to opportunely diagnosis more serious illnesses.
Dr. Diya talked to me about the symptoms of many illnesses manifest themselves in the mouth, such as measles and chicken pox, among others. Recently, she saw a young boy who had a blue lump on his gum, which led to him being diagnosed with leukemia and sent to see a specialist.
“The first visit to the pediatric dentist should be at the age of one, or no longer than 6 months after they cut their first tooth. This is not only because children should start to become familiar with dentists, but also because they should have a full dental examination to ensure that there are no lumps or swelling” explained Dr. Chadha.
Dental examinations from an early age also help pediatric dentists to diagnose other minor problems, such as a small tongue, which can mean that they can’t be breastfed or can’t suckle properly from a bottle, or, if the child is older, that they can’t speak properly or have problems pronouncing certain sounds.
“The reason why it is important to take your child for a check-up is to ensure that there are no underlying diseases and that the child is completely healthy,” commented Dr. Diya.
The work done by a pediatric dentist goes far beyond showing mother and child the right way to brush their teeth and dietary tips to help avoid cavities. Dental appointments from an early age help to create a positive attitude about going to the dentist and the importance of good dental hygiene, not to mention that it helps to avoid problems when the children are older.
While it is undoubtedly helpful for the parents to feel relaxed and for them to NOT SCARE their children (avoiding the typical “if you don’t behave, I am going to take you to the dentist”), it is also a big plus that pediatric dentists work in spaces that are 100% designed with children and their comfort in mind.
This, for me, is the key element in ensuring that this experience is not a traumatic one, not to mention helping the child to feel at ease and relaxed during the appointment. A clear example of this is that a pediatric dentist has equipment and furniture that have been specially designed for children, not to mention open spaces where the children can see their mothers and other children who are having a dental examination at the same time as them.
We would like to thank the team at SmileTown Dentistry for the interview and the information, as well as for having shown us around their premises; it was truly a pleasure to collaborate with Dr. Diya Chadha BDS, DMD, FRCD(C) Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and her team. If you would like to contact them, please visit www.smiletownburnaby.com.