In the past, it has been recommended that children have their first dental visit around age 3. It has been recognized that early childhood decay has been more and more present in the general population. The ADA has recently urged parents to start their child’s regular dental checkup as soon as their first tooth has erupted.
The ADA has encouraged parents to schedule a dental appointment for their child within six months that their first tooth has erupted, and no later than 12 months old. During your child’s first visit, the dentist will go over proper care for your child’s teeth. It is also important to establish a positive experience associated with your child and the dentist. This can help with future visits and last a lifetime.
Contributing factors to early childhood caries include increased sugar intake such as large amounts of milk, starches, juice, and soft drinks. After your child’s first tooth comes in, you can help with the at-home care by limiting these types of foods/drinks. Another factor that contributes to early tooth decay is bottle and breastfeeding during nap time or during the night. Parents are encouraged to have their children finish their bottle before nap and night time, and not send them to bed with a bottle.
With proper home care practices and early dental visits, you can help your child win the fight against early childhood tooth decay. If you have any questions, please call our office and we will be happy to assist you!