Childhood Dental Visits
The sooner children begin getting regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives. Early childhood dental visits help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating and other medical issues. Youngsters with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence.
Why They Are Important
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) believe every child should visit a dentist by the age of 1 year or as soon as the first tooth appears. This first visit teaches parents and caregivers how to care for their child’s teeth and mouth to help them remain cavity-free.
Pediatric dentists see many young patients with cavities that come from falling asleep with a bottle of milk or juice in their mouths. The dentist can tell the parent or caregiver:
- Why this causes decay
- The importance of encouraging children to drink milk, water and juice from a cup as they approach their first birthday
- How to brush young teeth.
Dentists also encourage mothers to stop on-demand nighttime breastfeeding, after the child’s first teeth come through.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 40 percent of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten.
At Pediatric Dentistry of Pleasant Hill, we provide gentle, expert care to all children through age 18.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog