Battle Creek, Michigan
When Should My Child First See the Dentist?
The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children see the dentist when their first tooth erupts or 12 months of age. Early intervention and discussion with pediatric dentistry is recognized as the best method for preventing tooth decay. Periodic visits starting in the first year of life can get help your child develop a dental home where he or she can feel comfortable at his or her dental appointment.
Baby Teeth are Important, Too!
Baby teeth usually fall out on their own starting at age 6. Their primary role is to provide a guide as the permanent teeth erupt. When baby teeth are lost early to decay, the back teeth (molars) drift forward causing more crowding when the adult teeth finally erupt.
Baby teeth also harbor bacteria. Thankfully, most bacteria in our mouths are healthy. When kids get decay, they have much higher levels of Strep. mutans (a type of bacteria causing decay). If families can eliminate or minimize the amounts of these bad bacteria, they will be able to prevent all their teeth from ever having a cavitity. If kids have problems with decay in their baby teeth, this same bacteria will grow on the adult teeth when they come into the mouth. That is why saying, “It’s ok that my child’s baby teeth have decay, one day, they’ll fall out anyway,” is a misconception. Cavities can be prevented! Talk with your dentist about specific ways you and your family can help manage oral health.