Common Dental Terms:
Dental Hygienist: a trained professional who cleans teeth and offers instruction on the general care of teeth.
Dentist: an authorized practitioner of medicine dealing with the care of teeth and associated structures of the oral cavity. Concerned with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the teeth and gums.
Denturist: a practitioner concerned with the study and provision of full and partial dentures as well as their maintenance and repair.
Endodontist: a dental practitioner concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the dental pulp and its surrounding tissues.
Orthodontist: a dentist who is an expert in dealing with prevention and correction of abnormally positioned or aligned teeth.
Periodontist: dental practitioner concerned with the study and treatment dealing with diseases of the tissues surrounding the teeth (gums).
Pediatric Dental Care:
When should a child begin visiting the dentist? Primary teeth serve a number of functions and it is important these teeth be kept until they are lost naturally. They help guide the proper eruption and positioning of the permanent teeth. By age three, most children have all twenty of their primary teeth. This is a good time to begin regular dental visits unless there are signs of decay or problems earlier. Note that infant tooth decay can arise from prolonged breast or bottle feeding, usually at nighttime. Weaning around the first birthday is recommended.
- Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle or bring them to bed and breast-feed.
- Do not let your baby walk around with a bottle during the day; tooth damage can result.
- Use a pacifier instead of a bottle if your infant seems to require more sucking time.
- Wean your baby to a cup by the age of one year.
- Brush your baby’s teeth as soon as a tooth appears. Use a soft brush with no toothpaste for an infant.
- Missoula does not add fluoride to the water supply. You should get a prescription from a dentist or physician for fluoride supplement vitamins. They should continue fluoride supplements until the age of 12.
- Begin dental visits by the age of 3, or sooner if you see any problems.