Early teethers, gummy smiles and all babies in between, need to see the dentist by age 1. The American Dental Association’s recommendation is based on firsts. Babies should visit the dentist:
• Within 6 months of getting a first tooth; and
• No later than their first birthday
Here are 3 benefits to following the recommendation:
1. Smarter Parents
Children start to develop teeth between 2 and 12 months of age. And with all of the responsibilities you have as a new parent, it can be hard to know everything—including how to properly clean your baby’s mouth. The dentist can show you how to care for your baby’s teeth, as well as habits that cause cavities.
2. Healthier Baby
Even though baby teeth fall out, bacteria doesn’t. It’s essential to prevent cavities as early as possible. Children who have cavities in their baby teeth are 3 times more likely to develop cavities in their permanent teeth, compared to children who were cavity-free. Healthy baby teeth are critical to a child’s early physical, social and emotional development – they maintain proper spacing in the jaw and between teeth until the adult teeth are ready to grow in, foster good nutrition through proper chewing, aid in speech development, build self-esteem by providing a healthy smile, and enable children to pay attention without dental pain.
3. Easier Appointments
Make the dentist a familiar face! Introducing your tot to the dentist at an early age can calms nerves for future appointments.