Your Child's Age 1 Dental Visit
A common question new parents have is "When should my child first see a dentist?"
The short answer is "First visit by first birthday," according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. America's pediatricians agree. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities should visit a pediatric dentist by age 1. Although the idea of such early dental visits is still surprising to many new parents, the infant visit is endorsed by leading national public health groups.
More than 1 in 4 children in the United States have cavities by the time they are 4 years old, sometimes as early as age 2. To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child's risk of developing cavities, then learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems before they start.
But cavities aren't all that parents need to learn about their child's dental health. The age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:
- How to care for an infant’s or toddler's mouth
- Appropriate use of fluoride for your child
- Oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
- Ways to prevent oral and facial accidents and trauma
- Teething and developmental milestones
- The relationship between diet and oral health
After this first visit, the dentist will suggest a schedule of follow-up visits. In the past, dentists typically recommended follow-up visits every six months. Now, dentists are increasingly tailoring children's visits to their individual needs and risks. As your child grows, the dental team can share information that will help you prevent common oral problems.
Dr. David Medford, is a dentist in Fort Worth, he is trained in implant dentistry, cosmetic and family dentistry.
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