Many American children do not see their dentist in the family until they are well over two years of age, much older than the dental and medical professionals suggest. It is recommended that the first dental appointment of your child starts at age one or six months after the entry of his or her first tooth.
There are significant advantages to starting dental visits early and establishing a dental home since many dental problems are avoidable. Early visits allow children to become accustomed to the atmosphere of the dental office and establish good habits early. Research has shown that children who visit the dentist at a young age have fewer cavities, less premature tooth loss, reduced future health care costs, and a more positive experience at the dentist throughout their childhood.
This first visit will become a foundation to help build a healthy, trusting relationship between your child, the dental team, and to familiarize you as parents with the anticipated dental development and needs of your child. To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities, and then learn how to manage diet, hygiene, and fluoride to prevent problems before they start. At the age one dental visit, the dentist can help evaluate your child’s dental health and get them off to a good start, as well as it is a great opportunity for parents to have concerns answered that they may not know the answers to, such as:
• Brushing techniques with an age-appropriate toothbrush
• Education about fluoride, including toothpaste
• Discussion of how to avoid baby bottle decay
• Pacifier use, bottle use, and thumb sucking
• Teething and developmental milestones
• Discussion of how to avoid oral and facial injuries
• Your family’s food habits and foods to include and avoid for healthier teeth
If you would like more information on pediatric dental care, please contact our office at 203-612-5529 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.