While medical care solely dedicated to the teeth, i.e. dentistry, has a long history that dates all the way back to the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians, pediatric dentistry is actually quite young! Most experts agree that it started in the 1910s, and a lot has changed since those early days. In today’s blog, we go on a whirlwind tour of the brief history of pediatric dentistry and discuss why bringing your child to a specialist is always the right move for their smile.
- A small number of dentists open kids-only practices, but no formal education on meeting the specific dental needs of children exists yet.
- Alfred C. Fones, considered the father of dental hygiene, creates a program where recent dental school graduates provide care in public schools.
- M. Evangeline Jordon publishes the first book about pediatric dentistry in English.
- The American Dental Association officially recognizes pediatric dentistry as a specialty.
- The American Academy of Pedodontics is formed, which is the precursor of the modern-day American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
- Roughly half of school-aged children start visiting the dentist at least once a year.
- The Pediatric Dentistry Training Program is developed to increase the number of dentists who can meet the dental needs of children, including those with special needs.
- Dental sealants are developed to help prevent children from getting cavities in their back teeth.
- The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is completed to assess the nutritional status of children and adults.
1990s to Today
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services publishes a report discussing how oral health is an important part of overall health.
- The “dental home” concept is established, in which a child begins visiting a dentist at an early age and continues doing so throughout their formative years.
- The Affordable Care Act makes pediatric dental care an essential part of insurance plans.
A History of Making Little Smiles Shine
Whew, we just covered a lot in a short amount of time!
Today, there are plenty of offices that provide pediatric dentistry for kids in Katy, enabling children to get the specialized care they need right at home. By bringing your child to see a pediatric dentist, you’re choosing to have them treated by a doctor who has trained specifically to meet their unique needs and guide their oral development during their critical years. In addition to having experience working exclusively with children, pediatric dentists are also really skilled at using a light touch and explaining different procedures so little smiles can better understand what’s going on and become more comfortable.
With a pediatric dentist, your child will benefit from all the advancements touched on above at each visit, allowing you to rest easy while they get the healthy, beautiful smile they deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Adeel Khan, better known as “Dr. A,” is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy, TX who received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Boston University School of Dental Medicine, graduating magna cum laude. He then completed his pediatric specialty training at the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. To schedule your child’s next appointment at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry, click here.